Dear Fox Fans and world at large,
When I do master classes in songwriting, I open the class by saying, "It was either Plato, or Socrates, or...(pregnant pause) Johnny Cash, who said, "Take me not to those who write your laws, for they will lie. Take me to those who write your songs, for they will not."
Then, after another pregnant pause, I confess to my class the neither of the three above-mentioned great philosophers said that. Rather, it was a not so great philosopher, but a fairly decent songwriter who said it...me!!
That brings me to another songwriter, a great songwriter, a Grammy Award-winning songwriter, and a great friend, Billy Dean.
Last week, in Joplin, Missouri, Billy, my brothers Steve and Rudy and I, along with our buddies T.G. Sheppard and Leroy Van Dyke did a benefit for the tornado victims of Joplin.
Backstage Billy said, "Hey L.G., I have a song idea I want you to help me write." When he sang the "hook line" I said, "I'm in. Let's do it."
So, last Tuesday night, at the Starlight Theatre in Branson, in the dressing room that Billy and I share, we sat down with our two guitars, our two hearts, our two God given talents, and our singular love for America, and poured our two hearts out in a song, "An American with a Remington."
The response has been unbelievable -- more than 15 million hits and thousands of "hurrahs" from like-minded Americans -- in only five days.
Please know that neither Billy nor I are trigger happy cowboys lookin' for a fight. We just know that the fight is looking for us and for all Americans.
So we decided as 2 of "those who write the songs" it was up to is to write the truth, because so many of those who write our laws will not.
In closing, I don't know how my friend Billy Dean was brought up, but my dad, the Marine, Curly Gatlin, taught me to shoot with a Remington 12 gauge pump shotgun out in West Texas.
We ate what we shot. That was, and still is the deal for the Gatlins. If you trophy hunt, that's your business. The Gatlins eat what we kill, or we make damn sure that someone who needs the meat gets the quail, dove, or venison.
So that's the story about the song "An American with a Remington." Billy and I hope you like it. If you don't, that's none of our business, but I will say this, a lot of good men and women have fought and died or have been wounded to preserve and protect your right to disagree and say so. Is America a great country or what?!
Larry Gatlin, an American with a Remington
P.S. And Billy Dean, an American with a Remington
P.P.S. One thing J.R. Cash did say to me long ago was, "Pilgrim, if something makes you mad enough boy, you'll damn sure write a song about it." Well, J.R., Billy and I are mad as hell about those cowardly, beheading bastards, so we did just that!!
Larry Gatlin is a country music singer and songwriter.