March 28, 2008

Gatlins, Voice Center team for benefit

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The Gatlin Brothers, from left, Steve, Larry and Rudy.

Gatlins, Voice Center team for benefit

Country legends Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers are performing a benefit concert Thursday, April 10, at 7:30 p.m. at the Ryman Auditorium to assist musicians who require treatment at the Vanderbilt Voice Center but are uninsured or unable to pay for medical care.

Gatlin, a longtime patient of Robert Ossoff, M.D., received surgery at Vanderbilt in 1991 that he credits for saving his music career. He is best known for chart-topping hits including "Broken Lady," "I Just Wish You Were Someone I Love," and "All The Gold In California."

The inaugural event at the Ryman will establish the "Gatlin Fund" for fellow vocalists who do not have the financial resources for voice-saving surgery. It is named in honor of Rudy, Steve and Larry Gatlin.

“We see the fund as the beginning of a great purpose that not only enhances the availability of health care, but also the establishment of fellowships and teaching opportunities,” said Ossoff, director of the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center for Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences.

Ossoff and his staff have treated preachers, radio personalities, auctioneers, businessmen and celebrities including Johnny Cash, Minnie Pearl, Kathy Mattea, Patty Loveless, Emmylou Harris, Jack White, Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, Ronnie Dunn, Pam Tillis, Wynonna Judd and Gretchen Wilson.

“We've been able to establish surgical interventions for benign problems of the larynx that can end careers — cysts or scar tissue in the vocal fold which oftentimes is acquired by a combination of overuse, misuse or lack of training,” he said. “We can correct these problems and restore careers."

Gatlin's 1991 operation received worldwide media attention and provided a spark to the Vanderbilt Voice Center in its early stages.

“Larry, Steve and Rudy have been friends of the Vanderbilt Voice Center since its inception in 1991, and since serving as Master of Ceremonies for the Grand Opening of the Voice Center in March of 1992, Larry and the brothers have literally sung its praises around the world,” Ossoff said.

Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers will be debuting several new songs from their upcoming Curb Records release during the Ryman concert.

Special guests for the April 10 show include The Imperials, Lari White and One Flew South.

Tickets are $39.50 and may be purchased at all Ticketmaster locations, Kroger, Macy's, the Ryman box office and at

A pre-concert event party with The Gatlin Brothers is April 9 at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.

For more information, contact Maxine Cunningham at 322-6326 or e-mail