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The Statler Brothers Make Their Bed

‘Bed Of Rose’s,’ one of the songs that really helped to establish the Statler Brothers as country staples, was new on the charts in November 1970.

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Bed Of Roses Statler Bros

After the Statler Brothers burst onto the country scene in 1965, when they spent a month at No. 2 with ‘Flowers On The Wall,’ it took a little while for them to hit their chart stride. The sibling group from Staunton, Virginia would go on to an incredible sequence of hits in the 1970s and ’80s, and one of the songs that really helped to establish them as country staples was new on the charts in November 1970.

‘Bed Of Rose’s,’ written by the group’s Harold Reid, may have read like bad punctuation from a distance, but in reality, it was an impactful and not uncontroversial story song. It concerned a “scarlet woman” called Rose who, in contrast to the Christian townspeople who shun the teenage narrator in his time of need, takes him in. The message couldn’t be spelt out in so many words, but Reid was clearly pointing at the hypocrisy of supposedly righteous people who criticise the lives of others while failing to help their fellow man.

After ‘Flowers On The Wall,’ the Statler Brothers had had two more top ten country hits in 1967, but then three more singles that missed the top half of the chart. ‘Bed Of Rose’s’ was the song that changed all that. It entered the country countdown on 21 November 1970 at No. 71 — coincidentally, in the same week as another of country music’s famous “rose” songs, George Jones’ ‘Good Year For The Roses.’

The Statlers’ single rose to No. 9 on the country bestsellers early in 1971, in a 17-week run that was their longest since that debut hit. It was also their first single since’Flowers On The Wall’ to make the pop chart, reaching No. 58 on the Hot 100. The album of the same name did even better, reaching No. 5 in a 30-week span on the country chart.

‘Bed Of Rose’s’ is on the Statler Brothers’ Bed Of Roses album, which can be bought here.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Greg

    November 29, 2016 at 1:51 am

    Absolutely love the Statler Brothers. No better entertainers or singers have ever come along.

  2. Jeff Jones

    February 24, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Good article, but they were not a “sibling group”. They were two brothers (Harold and Don Reid), one cousin (Phil Balsley), and one friend (the late Lew DeWitt, later replaced by Jimmy Fortune).

    Also, did you interview Harold or Don about the meaning of the song, or get it from a public statement or writing?

  3. Rudy

    November 23, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    By far the greatest

  4. Judith Warren

    November 24, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    I love hearing the Statler brothers singing with Lew Dewitt with them

  5. Judith Warren

    November 24, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    theres nothing beter than hearing a Statler brothers song with Lew Dewitt

  6. Diane Williams Cook

    November 25, 2017 at 4:39 am

    Love the Statler Brothers! Was fortunate to meet them in 1967 when we moved to Staunton, VA. Made friends with a couple who went to school with them. Great guys!!

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