Larry Gatlin delivers jokes, anecdotes, and classic songs in this solo acoustic set at the Museum, recorded August 15, 2015, as part of the Songwriter Sessions series. Along with talking about his early days as a songwriter in Nashville, he sings “Help Me,” “Broken Lady,” “I’ve Done Enough Dying Today,” and more.
Gatlin teases the audience about being a name-dropper, and reminisces about encounters with Johnny Cash, Roger Miller, Mickey Newbury, Barbra Streisand, and Dottie West. “People ask me how I write songs. I say, ‘Pretty good, I got a big house,’” he jokes. Later, he looks to the heavens and says, “I’ll tell you this from my heart. The bad songs I write by myself. The really great ones I just copy down.”
The program’s set list includes “The Heart,” “Try to Win a Friend” (recorded by Johnny Mathis and, later, Barbra Streisand), “If I Ever See Utah Again” (recorded by the Gatlin Brothers), “Bitter They Are, Harder They Fall” (recorded by Elvis Presley), “Help Me” (recorded by Kris Kristofferson), “Why Me” (written by Kristofferson), “Broken Lady,” “I’ve Done Enough Dying Today,” and a portion of “All the Gold in California.”
For the latter song, a #1 hit for the Gatlin Brothers in 1979, he explains the inspiration behind the lyrics and how he wrote the song in a parking lot in just eight minutes. Interacting with fans, he also speaks about his musical influences and his love for language and literature.
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