West Texas Living Heritage Museum

Make History Come Alive

The West Texas Living Heritage Museum is a unique and captivating destination that celebrates the rich cultural heritage of West Texas. Situated in a small town in West Texas, our museum is dedicated to preserving and promoting the traditional skills, crafts, and stories that have been passed down through generations.

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Larry, Steve & Rudy, the Gatlin Brothers are Grammy award-winners who have dazzled audiences for more than sixty-nine years. They have accrued a lifetime of noteworthy achievements in their storybook career, including a Grammy for Best Country Song (“Broken Lady”), three ACM awards for Single of the Year (“All the Gold In California”), Album of the Year (Straight Ahead) and Male Vocalist of the Year, along with five nominations for CMA Vocal Group of the Year, Single, Album. The Brothers have accumulated 7 # 1 Singles, 32 Top 40 Records, 24 Studio Albums and 5 BMI “Million-Air” Awards. As a solo writer, Larry ranks 4 th on Billboard’s top 40 self-penned hits. His impressive song catalog has been recorded by the “Who’s Who” of entertainers, including Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Glen Campbell, Kris Kristofferson, Sir Tom Jones, Dottie West, Charlie Rich, Johnny Mathis, and many others, securing his legacy as one of BMI’s top solo songwriters. He was also most recently inducted to the Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame. For more than 69 years, the Gatlin Brothers have entertained audiences in venues and stages all over the world from the Grand Ole’ Opry to Carnegie Hall. They have performed for the Grammy Awards, the American Music Awards, and the People’s Choice Awards. They appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Oprah, Hee-Haw, Love Boat, the Midnight Special with Wolfman Jack, the Merv Griffin Show, Solid Gold, the Barbara Mandrell Show and their own variety special on ABC just to name a few. In 1976, the Gatlin Brothers were on the fast track musically thanks to the chart-topping success of their single “Broken Lady”. The hits continued throughout the decade with their signature song “All the Gold in California” followed by “Houston (Means I’m One Day Closer To You).” The next decade brought number one songs with “I Don’t Wanna Cry”, “I Just Wish You Were Someone I Love,” “Statues Without Hearts,” “Love Is Just A Game”, and “Night Time Magic.” Larry has also written & produced a musical, “Quanah”, which was performed in April 2017 to rave reviews. They have performed at the White House, the President Reagan Library, Air Force One, Ford’s Theater, Camp David, President Bush’s 80 th Birthday Party, The Lincoln Theater, Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Gardens, West Point, The Mall in Washington D.C., The Greek Theater, Billy
Bob’s Texas, Radio City Music Hall, Disney World and The Wembley Music Festival, to name a few. They have been privileged to grace the stage with legendary entertainers, like Kenny Rogers, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Vince Gill, The Oak Ridge Boys, the Gaither Vocal Band, the Isaacs just to name a few. The brothers have also proudly entertained our U.S. Troops in Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Germany andat many military bases in the United States as well. They have appeared at many sporting eventsand venues singing the National Anthem, including the ’85 and ’89 World Series, and the U.S.

Open Tennis Tournament in New York City. They have performed in Yankee Stadium, the Astrodome, Nissan Titans Stadium, Candlestick Park, Chicago White Sox Ballpark, NHL All Star Hockey Game in Calgary, Alberta Canada, Darlington NASCAR Speedway, the Cotton Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Rose Bowl, Giants Stadium, New Orleans Saints Superdome, Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium, Houston Texans’ Reliant Stadium and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. Their career began in Abilene, Texas in 1955 when Larry was seven, Steve was four and Rudy was two. The brothers grew up singing gospel music while listening to James Blackwood and the Blackwood Brothers, Hovie Lister, and The Statesmen Quartet as well other accomplished gospelartists. As children the brothers would sing for anyone who would listen. Soon they were singing from coast to coast and appeared at the World’s Fair in 1964 in New York City. They recorded four Gospel records early in their career. In 1966, Larry went to college at the University of Houston where he studied English and Law. In 1971, he auditioned for The Imperials, Elvis’backup group. While he did not get the job, he met Dottie West, who was the opening act for Jimmy Dean. Dean would later become one of Larry’s oldest and dearest friends. Dottie was initially taken with Larry’s resemblance to Nashville songwriter Mickey Newbury. She told him one night in Las Vegas that he looked so much like Mickey, he had to be able to write great songs too. Encouraged, Larry returned to Houston, wrote eight songs, and sent them to Dottie. She liked them so much she sent him a plane ticket to Nashville. Through Dottie’s friendship, Larry met Kris Kristofferson, who championed his talents as awriter and singer. Kristofferson’s introduction to Fred Foster at Monument Records resulted in a recording contract with the label. Larry’s first album, The Pilgrim, was released later that year. Johnny Cash wrote the liner notes for the album and dubbed him “The Pilgrim”, a name he called him the rest of his life. At this time Steve and Rudy were still in college at Texas Tech University, but by 1975 they moved to Nashville to join Larry to form the group as we know it today. The brothers still perform approximately 40 road concert dates a year as well as 30
performances at the famed Grand Ole’ Opry. They are also in the planning stages of recording some new music. “We are blessed that fans still love our music & attend our shows” says Steve & “we hope to continue as long as that’s the case.”

Awards, Television Shows & Venues 1964 World’s Fair New York City, New York / Hee-Haw / Hee-Haw Honeys Huckabee TV Show / The Barbara Mandrel Show / The Merv Griffith Show The Mike Douglas Show / Gatlin Brothers ABC Special / Solid Gold TV Show The Dinah Shore Show / John Davidson TV Show / SALUTE with Dick Clark Johnny Cash Special / Crook & Chase Show / Midnight Special with Wolfman Jack Love Boat / Marty Stuart TV Show / Larry’s Country Diner\ Jason Crabb TV Show / Pop Goes the County / Marty Robbins TV Show / Ralph Emory TV Show Tommy Hunter TV Show (Canada) / Bill Gaither Videos / Carnegie Hall (New York)
AT&T Stadium (Dallas) / Wembley Stadium (London) / Death Valley (Clemson University)

Super Dome (New Orleans) / Madison Square Garden (New York) / Pontiac Silverdome (Pontiac) Astrodome (Houston) / Reliant Field (Houston)Nissan Stadium (Titans Nashville) / Yankee Stadium (New York) Rose Bowl (Pasadena, CA) / Candlestick Park (San Francisco) / Forum (Los Angeles) Ryman Auditorium (Nashville) Grand Ole Opry House (Nashville) / 48 years members of Grand Ole Opry Performed for last 8 U.S. PRESIDENTS

West Texas Living Heritage Museum

Our Purpose

Educate

Through educational programs, events, and interactive exhibits, we provide visitors with the tools they need to apply the lessons of history to their lives today. Whether it’s learning about the importance of conservation and sustainability, or understanding the impact of technological innovation on society, our museum offers valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities of the present day.

Inspire

Our mission goes beyond simply providing a history lesson. We strive to make the lessons of history relevant and applicable to the present day. By highlighting the successes and failures of the past, we aim to inspire and empower visitors to create a better future.

 

Preserve

Ultimately, we believe that by preserving and sharing the stories of the past, we can create a brighter future for all. As the old saying goes, “If we forget our past, we are bound to repeat it.” At the West Texas Living Heritage Museum, we are committed to ensuring that the lessons of history are not forgotten, but are instead used to shape a better tomorrow.

 

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OUR CLASSES

WHAT WE’RE OFFERING

At the West Texas Living Heritage Museum, we are proud to offer a range of classes and workshops that celebrate the traditional skills and crafts of West Texas. Our classes are designed to provide visitors with hands-on experiences that allow them to learn and appreciate the art of canning, quilting, and other traditional crafts.

Canning

Our canning classes offer visitors the opportunity to learn how to preserve fruits and vegetables using traditional methods. Led by experienced instructors, our classes cover everything from selecting the right produce to sterilizing jars and sealing your creations for long-term storage. Participants will leave with the skills and knowledge necessary to create their own homemade preserves, pickles, and jams.

Quilting

Our quilting classes are another popular offering at the museum. Led by expert quilters, these classes teach visitors the basics of traditional quilting techniques such as hand-sewing, piecing, and quilting. Participants will learn how to create beautiful and functional quilts using traditional patterns and fabrics, while also gaining a deeper appreciation for this centuries-old craft.

History

In addition to our canning and quilting classes, we also offer a range of history classes that explore the rich heritage and culture of West Texas. These classes cover a variety of topics, from the history of early settlement and pioneer life to the impact of the oil industry on the region. Led by knowledgeable instructors, our history classes provide visitors with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the unique challenges and triumphs that have shaped West Texas.

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OUR MISSION STATEMENT

Looking back and learning how to apply history in the present, so as to be prepared for the future!

Comanche Nation Heritage

Discover the captivating history and vibrant culture of the Comanche Nation, a proud and resilient Native American tribe. Our Museum is dedicated to preserving and sharing the stories, traditions, and achievements of the Comanche people, providing an immersive journey into our rich heritage.

Mennonite History & Culture

Discover the cultural practices and traditions that West Texas Mennonites have passed down through the years. These practices offer a window into the complex cultural fabric of the community, ranging from distinctive culinary traditions to folk arts, music, and quilting. Learn about the Mennonite way of life in West Texas and how it is still shaped by the principles of simplicity, humility, and communal living.

The History of Gaines County

By learning from our past and celebrating the skills and traditions that have sustained our communities for generations, we can better prepare ourselves for the challenges of the future. We invite you to join us at the museum and discover the unique and fascinating history and culture of West Texas.