Proud UH Alum Larry Gatlin: If You Don't Like His Songs, "I Still Wrote Them"
Rocks Off reached native West Texan and proud UH alumnus Larry Gatlin, of 97.1 Country Legends mainstays Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers Band, first by phone at his hotel in Colorado, then again by phone the next day in San Antonio. Gatlin plays the Dosey Doe's "Big Barn" in The Woodlands Sunday evening.
Photo courtesy of Dave Clement
Rocks Off: I saw that you played football at UH. Do you still follow UH Football? Any thoughts on how what it'll take to get them back to where they were with Case Keenum and Coach Sumlin?
Larry Gatlin: Football is very cyclical. For ten years Notre Dame couldn't beat anybody. [In] three or four different coaches... UH will be fine. Keenums and Sumlins don't come along every day. Coach Levine will do a great job. The Cougars will be back!
RO: Besides getting bigger, how has Houston changed since you were at UH?
LG: It's a world-class city now. It's one of the most important cities in the world because of the petrochemical industry, oil, MD Anderson, University of Houston, great symphony, great opera. It is much larger. What is it, the fourth- or fifth-biggest city in America?
LG: ZZ Top, of course. Lyle Lovett is great. Lyle is a great writer, a great artist and a really nice man. He was inducted into the Texas Songwriter's Hall of Fame. I got to be there for that, and I really enjoyed it.
I just read that you had 5 No. 1 singles and 33 Top 40 hits(!!). How has the music business changed?
Yeah, we actually had 8 No. 1 singles. Whoever wrote that (online) is not right. If you had a No. 1 single in either Billboard, Cashbox, or Record World, it was considered a No. 1 record.
What happened was sometimes it would go to No. 1 on Billboard, but it wouldn't on Cashbox or the other one. But we've had a very good run. We had 8 No. 1s and 33 Top 40s. My old assistant, years ago found something on the Internet that said we had the most Top 40 country hits written by one guy.
That's me. I tell people, if you like them, I wrote them. If you don't like them, I still wrote them.