Don earlier shared with a Virgina publication that it was his eyes that struck a box of Statler brand tissues in the room.

The name stuck.

“We could have been the Kleenex Brothers,” Don said of the new era of two brothers and two friends, now known as the Statler Brothers.

That same year, the Statler Brothers, whose country sounds blend with gospel harmonies, were playing at the Roanoke Fair in Salem, Virginia, when they captured the attention of the iconic Johhny Cash.


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Cash was at the Salem Fairgrounds promoting his 16th album and hired them “on a handshake.”

“John was a walkin’, talkin’, singin’ musical encyclopedia,” Reid said.

Over the next 10 years, the “Class of ‘57” singers toured, recorded and appeared on TV with Cash, who helped the young men become Columbia Records hitmakers.

In 1965, their genre-bending song “Flowers on the Wall” was a top hit in country and pop music. Beating out the Beatles’ “Help!” and the Supremes’ “Stop in the Name of Love,” the Statler Brothers earned their first two Grammy Awards: Best New Country and Western Artist and Best Contemporary Performance (Group).