LIMA — Larry Gatlin and The Blackwood Brothers will be appearing at the Civic Center Thursday night.
According to Ron Blackwood, formerly of The Blackwood Brothers, Larry Gatlin listened to The Blackwood Brothers when he was a youngster.
“Larry Gatlin has told me many times in Texas when he was a young boy his mom and dad would take him to hear The Blackwood Brothers,” said Blackwood.
Ron Blackwood’s father was the original founding member of The Blackwood Brothers in 1934. The Blackwood Brothers have played a significant part in other singers’ careers. It’s no secret that Elvis Presley loved gospel music.
“In fact he wanted to sing with The Blackwood Brothers. He made statements like that several times. One time I was backstage with him and I said, ‘Elvis I think there’s an opening coming up for The Blackwoods.’ And he said, ‘really, how much does it pay?’ I said ‘oh about $100 a week.’ He said, ‘I’ll take it, I’ll take it.’ We all laughed. I said, ‘you know Elvis as much as I love gospel music, if you sung gospel music with The Blackwood Brothers nobody would have ever heard of you,’” said Blackwood. “My daddy and The Blackwood Brothers was in the Johnny Cash movie, ‘I Walk The Line.’ They sang two songs in it. The Statler Brothers have told me many times their idol was my daddy and The Blackwood Brothers.”
For the Lima show, The Blackwood Brothers will sing first, followed by Larry Gatlin.
“We’re excited to be coming to Lima. The Blackwoods will come on first and there will generally be a short intermission where we set up for Larry Gatlin. And Larry will come out and start singing some of his hits like ‘All The Gold In California’ and songs like that. Generally he’ll call us up after three or four songs. We back him up like we did Elvis and some of those guys,” said Blackwood.
The audience will be entertained with songs such as “When The Saints Go Marching In,” “How Great Thou Art” and “He Touched Me.” At one point the audience will be asked to sing along.
The longevity of The Blackwood Brothers is not lost on Ron Blackwood.
“It is amazing. We are very humbled and very thankful,” said Blackwood.
Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511