Since 2011, "The Heart Behind The Music" has been bringing to the stage some of the world's best singers and songwriters who share the meaning and...music behind their hit songs. This show provides an up close, and personal insight into some of the greatest music ever written, and performances by some of the music industry's most talented musicians.
Country star Larry Gatlin was born in 1948 in Seminole, Texas, the son of a driller in the oil field. The oldest of the three Gatlin brothers, by age six, he was already accompanying younger brothers, Steve and Rudy in singing at family and church events.
After high school, Larry went to the University of Houston on a football scholarship. Larry majored in English and developed "a love affair with the English Language" that later served him well in his songwriting.
On the strength of his songwriting talents, Larry Gatlin became known throughout the Nashville music industry. While Steve and Rudy were finishing college, Larry was already touring the small club and listening room circuit as a solo act, looking forward to the time when he could afford to expand his live show to include his brothers.
From 1976 to 1992, the brothers toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada and overseas. They racked up hit after hit and banked some of the most prestigious awards in the industry. Larry penned every Gatlin Brothers hit you've ever heard. He has written songs that were later recorded by Elvis Presley, Glen Campbell, Barbra Streisand, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Barry Gibb, Ray Price, Tom Jones, Roy Orbison, Johnny Mathis, Dottie West and many more. December of 1992 marked a farewell to concert touring for the Gatlin Brothers as they completed their ADIOS TOUR with a CD of the same name. Then came a major turning point in his career. Larry took the lead role on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning musical "The Will Rogers Follies." The musical then toured throughout the nation to rave reviews.
Throughout the next decade Larry would go on to write an autobiography, All The Gold In California, record a solo album, In My Life, and occasionally tour solo.
In the early 2000's the brothers reunited for selective road dates and 2008, recorded their first album in nearly two decades, Pilgrimage. In 2015, the brothers celebrated 60 years of making music together and released a new album, The Gospel According to Gatlin.
During 2017, Larry brought his 30-year labor of love musical to life in Dallas. He wrote and starred in "Quanah," the story of Quanah Parker, the last Comanche Indian chief.
In October 2019, he was inducted into the prestigious Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Larry resides in Nashville with the love of his life, Janis, to whom he's been married for more than 40 years. They are the proud parents of two children, Josh and Kristin. He is also a proud grandfather, lovingly known as "Papa."
Billy Dean is an American Troubadour who has mastered the art of singing, songwriting, and storytelling. His unique ability to morph into the characters in his songs, brings the storyline to life, captivating his audiences with musical drama.
Billy's finger style acoustic guitar playing is reminiscent of James Taylor, and is percussive in nature. "I've never heard so much music coming from one man and one guitar. He's the best I've ever seen", says award winning producer/songwriter Monty Powell.
No matter what venue he performs in, large or small, with his band or just solo, Billy's charismatic charm and approachable personality puts you, the listener, in an intimate living room setting, where he touches every emotional nerve, leaving you musically nourished with a renewed Spirit.
Although he's best known in the Country genre for his 11 top ten singles, 5 number one's and over 4 million albums sold, his musical roots are entangled with Folk, Southern Rock, Bluegrass and Classic Country.
Billy says his musical influences are ongoing, but his sound will forever have the finger prints of those troubadour's who came before him like James Taylor, Dan Fogelberg, John Denver, The Eagles, Christopher Cross, David Gates and Bread, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Don Williams.
Billy Dean has been nominated by every major music award entity. Most recently he was inducted into the Florida Hall Of Fame for artist. His accolades includes a Grammy participant award for Country Salutes Gospel, a Grammy nomination for Song of the Year, for Somewhere in My Broken Heart which went on to win The Song Of The Year at The ACM awards in 1992. That same year, Billy Dean won Top new Male vocalist of the Year at the Academy of Country Music awards, and was nominated by the CMA for the Horizon award. Billy was also recognized by the CMA,(country music association) for "Album, and Producer of the Year" for his work and contribution to The Common Threads album.
Musical Influences: Billy Dean Sr., James Taylor, Merle Haggard, Kenny Rogers
TV Acting Roles:
One Life To Live, Lois and Clark, Wings, Diagnosis Murder
Movie Acting Roles:
A Face to Kill For, Blue Valley Songbird
TV Hosting Roles:
Lifetime TV Special, Good Morning Texas, Prime Time Country, ABC In Concert Country (1994 Season)
CBS This Morning, CNN, E! Entertainment, Entertainment Tonight, Fox After Breakfast, Fox News Channel, Good Morning America, John & Leeza, Mike & Mady, Music City Tonight, Nashville Now, Pat Bullard Show, Regis & Kathie Lee, TNN Country News, Tonight Show, Wildhorse, WGN TV, Prime Time Country, Arthel & Fred Show
1992 Academy of Country Music (ACM) Songwriter of the Year for Somewhere In My Broken Heart
1992 ACM New Male Vocalist of the Year
1991 and 1992 BMI Pop Awards
1993 BMI Country Song Awards for Billy The Kid and Somewhere In My Broken Heart
1993 BMI Million Air Plays Award for Somewhere In My Broken Heart
1993 CMT Rising Star Award
1993 TNN Songwriter Award for Billy The Kid
1996 Grammy for A Country Tribute...Amazing Grace
"I will never forget the big words of wisdom my father gave me about my desire to be an entertainer... 'Son, it won't surprise me if you make it but it would surprise me if you didn't.' "-Billy Dean
During her tenure as a solo artist with RCA Records between 1979 and 1987, Sylvia became one of the most celebrated women in country music. She released five albums with a dozen #1 and Top Ten hits, sold over four million records, and won multiple awards including the Academy of Country Music's Female Vocalist of the Year and Billboard's #1 Country Female Artist. In the 1990s, Sylvia began sharing new facets of her voice and perspective as an artist through her work on her own record label, Red Pony Records. Last year, she released the critically acclaimed It's All in the Family, her most personal album to date and the first ever on which she is a co-writer on the majority of songs. Sylvia's talents and interests also extend beyond music; she has worked as a certified life and career coach to executives and artists of all genres and sat on the board of a non-profit organization that serves and supports people who have mental illness and substance use disorders. Yet she has never stopped singing - even while on hiatus from performing, she kept a weekly appointment with her voice teacher and continued to hone her craft as a vocalist.
Sylvia is quick to point out that her path hasn't been a straight one, but she likes it that way. What is most important to Sylvia is continuous growth - personal, professional, and artistic - and gratitude for the choices, challenges, and turns in the road that have brought her to where she stands today. Sylvia's unique ability to honor the past while standing firmly in the present is what makes her new release, Second Bloom - The Hits Re-Imagined, so striking. On this album, she re-imagines some of her greatest hits, using the life experiences and skills she's gained as a musician over the last three decades to imbue them with new life and let them bloom again. Sylvia's not trying to relive the past, but neither is she running from it - the album functions as a kind of bridge from her early career to the present, and she makes navigating the bridge look effortless.
While the sound of much of Sylvia's formative music is iconic of a certain era and genre, she notes that the songs themselves are not bound to a specific time and place. The creative process of making Second Bloom therefore involved listening deeply to what each song had to say at its core and translating that message into a more contemporary musical dialect. In some cases, this meant working with co-producer John Mock to simply modernize a song's instrumentation and voicings; in other cases, it meant a more sweeping departure from the original production, while keeping the signature licks fans will recognize. But throughout
Second Bloom, listeners will hear in Sylvia's voice genuine reverence and affection for each song as part of her artistic lineage. The result is an album that is by turns introspective and carefree, evocative and joyful, and that will remind fans why they first fell in love with her music while allowing them to experience it anew.