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article imageCountry duo Wilson Fairchild pay tribute to The Statler Brothers Special

By Adrian Peel     Jan 28, 2017 in Music
Langdon Reid tells Digital Journal how he and his singing partner, Will Reid, came to honour their fathers, Harold and Don Reid, founding members of legendary country quartet The Statler Brothers.
Wilson Fairchild will be releasing Songs Our Dads Wrote on February 7. This heartfelt project features nine Statler Brothers tracks written by Harold and Don Reid, plus a tribute song penned by the duo themselves.
Other tunes include “Guilty,” originally a Top 10 hit for the Statlers in 1983 and now revisited with former Statler Brother Jimmy Fortune on vocals.
Members of the prestigious Country Music Hall of Fame, The Statler Brothers' recording and performing career lasted for nearly 50 years, from 1955 to 2002 when they disbanded.
"This project has been in our hearts and on our minds for a good while," explained Langdon. "I would say probably since we started playing music. We decided to choose nine songs that our dads co-wrote together, and the final cut is a song Will and I wrote together called 'The Statler Brothers Song'.
"The other songs are uptempo, some of them are ballads, some of them are hit songs that The Statlers had and some of them are deep album cuts. We really wanted to try to show the scope of their songwriting skills and who they were as writers and storytellers."
How did Jimmy Fortune end up on "Guilty"? "When we recorded 'Guilty', we looked at each other and said it was recorded and released in about 1982, which was around the time that Jimmy joined The Statlers," replied Langdon.
"So it was natural that since we were doing this song from his era with The Statlers, it was a no-brainer to say let's give this guy a call. Before we could even get the question out, Jimmy was already headed to the studio. He knocked it out of the park, as he always does..."
Wilson Fairchild
Wilson Fairchild
Mike Miriello
Discussing "The Statler Brothers Song," Langdon observed: "Well, we grew up listening to songs our dads wrote and, when The Statlers were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame - as well as the Country Music Hall of Fame - back in 2007 and 2008, we were asked to be a part of those medallion ceremonies to perform a song of theirs, and we felt that was the perfect time for us to write our own Statler Brothers song.
"So that's what we did; we took forty years of their music and everything that they've given to country music and tried to put it in about three and a half minutes. That's one of the most special songs we've ever been a part of."
Asked why The Statlers are still so popular, Langdon mused: "I think it's their connection. Of course they have the harmonies, they have the comedy, they have the lyrics, they have the songwriting and they have the storytelling. They have so many different facets of them.
"To see them in concert, you really got the full gamut of entertainment. They connected with so many people because of that and really had a loyal following. We're just excited to embrace their legacy and carry it on."
Langdon reflected on being part of the showbiz world: "Some of the highlights of our childhood were when we got to go on tour with them to some fair dates, usually about four or five dates in the summer," he recalled. "We would ride the bus and sit on the side of the stage and watch them perform.
"We would see a lot of opening acts and people they were working with. I remember one time they had Barbara Mandrell opening up for them, and somehow Will and I wound up over on her bus watching the movie Jaws.
"Our dads were getting ready to leave and they were like: 'Where are our boys?', and we were over on Barbara’s bus watching a movie. There's a story!"
On the subject of the group's plans for the rest of 2017 and beyond, Langdon said: "We are booking dates right now - we like to do a lot of performing arts centers.
"We are also doing a Christmas show in December. We will be doing our July 4 celebration in our hometown of Stanton, Virginia and more dates are coming in as we speak."
Songs Our Dads Wrote will be available from February 7.
For more information on Wilson Fairchild, visit their official website.
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