NOVEMBER 5, 2005

© Copyright 2004, GSI, Inc. Branson Missouri

Gatlin Brothers/Lennon Sisters show
- a special Christmas Blessing for Branson 
The Branson Courier

By Gary Groman aka The Ole Seagull, Editor

     At the outset an Ole Seagull must admit that he can’t read a note
     of music and doesn’t know a “beet” from a “beat,” but even he knew
     that he was listening to something special as he listened to the
     Gatlin Brothers and Lennon Sisters present their Christmas Show at
     the Welk Theatre in Branson, Missouri on the afternoon of Nov. 19.

     On their own, each group has that unique special blend of natural
     singing ability and harmony that God blesses very few families with.
     But when the two groups combine to present the Christmas portion
     of the show that blessing is multiplied exponentially, creating a
     synergy and spirit that fills ones heart with the true meaning of
     Christmas even as they realize that they are participating in a very
     special entertainment experience.

      The first half of the show features the Gatlin Brothers, Larry, Steve
      and Rudy “on doing all the hits they are famous for, “Houston,”
      “She’s a Broken Lady,” “All the Gold in California” as only they
      can do them with Larry and Steve providing just the right amount
      of comedic and audience interaction.  How does “Boogers and Snot”
      fit into the great scheme of life, well wonder no more because Larry
      and, through video, his granddaughter, Parker, will make it all clear.

       Ever since a 15 year old boy came in from hunting and walked
       through the door of his uncles house  in 1956 and saw the
       Lennon Sisters for the first time and realized that there was more
       to life than hunting and fishing he has been a Lennon Sisters fan.
       That is mentioned simply because, as they sang their portion of
       the first half, that boy, who is now 64 years old and back to fishing,
       took a few pictures and simply, for the most part, sat there
       mesmerized by the beautiful elegance of their music and harmony 
       rather than writing down what it was they were singing. One
       highlight, from a performance filled with “highlights,” would be
       their beautiful rendition of “Somewhere” from the musical
       “Westside Story.”

      What is really special about this show is that it is the raw skill of the 
      entertainer’s not production and special effects. Oh, sure there are
      sets and decorations but, at the end of the day, it is the obvious
      skill of the performers involved who make it the special experience
      that it is. The seamless subtle way that the extremely talented band,
      composed of Steve Smith, who has been playing guitar for the
      Gatlins for  years, George Perilli on percussion, Galen Butler on
      the keyboard, and the addition of Mike Cathcart on guitar, with the
      Lennon Sisters, blends in with the performers voices accentuating
      and highlighting the beauty and harmony of their voices rather
      than overpowering them.

      The Christmas portion covers the entire second half of the show and
      let there be no doubt about it, although “Happy Holidays” might be
      the theme at Walmart, in this show there is no doubt that the
      holiday  being celebrated is Christmas. From the opening number
      to the grand finale, it is one traditional Christmas favorite after
      another with a couple of surprises thrown in. The Gatlin’s rendition
      of the “The 12 Days of Christmas” is a real crowd pleaser and the
      Gatlin’s own special meaning to the phrase “There’s no such thing
      as a free lunch.

      The main highlight was when the Lennon Sisters and the Gatlins
      sang a medley of Christmas carols accompanied only by
      Steve Smith and Mike Cathcart on the guitar. The blending of
      their voices and harmonies with the beautiful guitar playing of
      Steve and Mike results in a simple elegant expression of the
      Christmas spirit.

      Or was it the Lennon Sisters rendition “Ave Maria,” or the number
      where two of Janet’s “angel” grand daughters, Lia, 6, and Ana 4,
      stood watch over the baby Jesus as their grandmother and her
      sisters sang His praises. Maybe it was the combined voices and the 
      power and conviction of the grand finale (see photos above).

      Whatever the highlight might be, the Gatlin Brothers and
      Lennon Sisters Christmas Show is not only a poignant musical
      definition of the true meaning of Christmas it is a unique one of a
      kind opportunity to experience the synergy of two of America’s
      favorite singing groups as they join their voices and harmonies
      together in a beautiful, powerful and moving musical experience
      that is without parallel. These folks need to make an album
      of inspirational songs together!