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Album Review

Following the departure and subsequent replacement of Lew DeWitt, the Statler Brothers released a slew of albums, most of which appeared on Mercury Records. In 2006, Mercury dropped a 12-song compilation album, Favorites, which comprised the group's original works from the post-DeWitt years. The compilation represents a decade's worth of material, hand-picked by the band's remaining members, beginning with "There Is You" and "I'm Dyin' a Little Each Day," from 1983's Today — the first album to feature DeWitt's replacement, Jimmy Fortune. Favorites features "If It Makes Any Difference," a track off the group's 1984 unofficial comeback album, Atlanta Blue. The collection spotlight's the best-selling vocal harmony group's lesser known songs from the second half of their career, many of which never stray from the group's original all-American appeal. The selections on Favorites represent small-town life and the simple pleasures of long-lasting love, family, home and country. But while Favorites might distinguish and pay homage to the group's songs forgotten by the charts, most Statler Brothers fans would be better off exploring the original albums on which the tunes appear — if they don't own them already. True, the songs chosen for Favorites are sincere, gentle, and no doubt in part embody a decade of the group's recordings, but die-hard fans, and especially those just getting their feet wet, would find their interests better suited with a few of the group's chart-toppers to add some needed excitement to Favorites.


Formed: 1955 in Staunton, VA

Genre: Country

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Named after a brand of tissues, the four members of the Statler Brothers did not in fact share a fraternal bond; what they did share, however, was the distinction of being one of the most successful vocal harmony groups in the history of country music. Formed in the group's home base of Staunton, VA, in 1955, the Statlers were originally a church trio comprised of bass vocalist Harold Reid (born August 21, 1939), baritone Phil Balsley (August 8, 1939), and tenor Lew DeWitt (March 12, 1938). In 1960,...
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Favorites, The Statler Brothers
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