The Song in You: Finding Your Voice, Redefining Your Life

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9780757316227: The Song in You: Finding Your Voice, Redefining Your Life

We all have a song to sing―something that sets us apart as special, worthy, and unique. To be our absolute best, we must find our own voice. That's the message in this encouraging you-can-do-it guide by LaDonna Gatlin, sister of the legendary country music group The Gatlin Brothers. A member of the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame, she has inspired hundreds of thousands of people over the past decade through her wisdom, humor, and song . . . and in The Song in You, Gatlin takes readers down an inspirational path to uncovering their own potential, purpose, and passion.  

Using the seven notes of the musical scale―do (do the right thing), re (realize your potential), mi (mind your manners), fa (failures can become fertilizer), sol (solutions begin with me), la (laugh), ti (time is valuable) . . . and right back to do―Gatlin uses her own story, including her dramatic personal struggles, to craft a spiritually uplifting message. 

The Song in You
contains practical, emotional, and spiritual insights gleaned from Gatlin's experiences as part of a famous musical family, and also as a woman whose Christian faith caused her to walk away from untold riches and fame to travel the world with Christian music pioneer Dallas Holm and evangelist David Wilkerson (from The Cross and the Switchblade movie). With a finely tuned voice, sharp wit, and engaging communication style crafted over a lifetime of performing, LaDonna ignites readers to boldly discover their passion, connect with their voice, and embrace a life of purpose and meaning.

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About the Author:

LaDonna Gatlin is the sister of the legendary Gatlin Brothers and a National Speaker Association Hall of Famer. She brings her "family over fame" story to hundreds of thousands of people as an active member of the National Speakers Association and has earned its highest professional designation, the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP). In July of 2005, LaDonna was one of five speakers (and the only woman that year) inducted into the Speakers Hall of Fame (CPAE Council of Peers Award for Excellence), a lifetime award for speaking excellence and professionalism.

LaDonna has spent her entire career empowering people to "sing their own songs" through their words, deeds, and actions. A seasoned professional, LaDonna has shared her message everywhere . . . from corporate powerhouses to the prison cells of death row. She truly speaks from the heart with stories that are the stuff of life, driving home common sense wisdom for everyday living in the process. Her presentations educate, inspire, and entertain and are an unforgettable experience for her audiences.

In addition to her live presentations, LaDonna has also recorded four solo CDs and is a contributing writer to the bestselling book series Chicken Soup for the Soul. LaDonna lives in a Dallas suburb with her husband (and best friend!) of thirty-seven years, Tim Johnson. They have two adult children who have blessed them with five grandchildren.

For more information, please visit www.ladonnagatlin.com.



Mike Marino, PhD, is a speaker, author, counselor, and media personality with an extensive background in mental healthcare and communications. He hosted a nationally-syndicated call-in radio program for five years and has produced broadcast programming, live events, and written materials for such diverse people as Dr. Laura Schlessinger, PBS-TV's Daniel Amen, MD, and the Reverend Billy Graham. He has also served as corporate vice president at the world renowned Amen Clinics, as president of New Life Ministries where he presided over a nationwide network of over 600 mental health clinicians, and as a senior executive at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. His hands-on, practical experience running psychiatric hospitals and substance abuse recovery centers has laid the groundwork for his life-changing message of genuine hope and healing.



Larry Gatlin was born in 1948 in Seminole, Texas, the son of an oil driller. The oldest of the three Gatlin brothers, by age seven Larry was already accompanying younger brothers Steve and Rudy in singing at family and church events.  Their baby sister LaDonna joined the group when she was five. 

On the strength of his songwriting talents, Larry Gatlin became known throughout the Nashville music industry. While his siblings Steve, Rudy, and LaDonna were finishing college, Larry was already touring the small club and listening room circuit as a solo act, looking forward to the time when he could afford to expand his live show to include his siblings. The three brothers and LaDonna finally brought their family harmony to Nashville in the 1970s.  (LaDonna left the group in 1976 after she got married.) The now-classic country song "Broken Lady" won Larry a Grammy Award for Songwriter of the Year in 1976. In the 1970s and 1980s, the Gatlin Brothers had thirty-three Top 40 singles, and today are considered legends in country music. 

Larry lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife, Janis. They are the proud parents of son Josh, who lives with his wife, Tracy, in Nashville, and daughter Kristin, who lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband, Scott. Larry is also a "Papa" to Kristin's daughters, Parker and Campbell.

 

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Growing Up Gatlin

Abilene, Texas, August 18, 1954. On their fourth try, Billie and Curley Gatlin finally welcomed a daughter into the Gatlin family! I was just fifteen minutes into this world when Dad tied a pink ribbon in my hair and anointed me family 'princess'! My brothers, Larry, Steve, and Rudy, already performing veterans at ages six, four, and two, respectively, were crazy about me!Crazy might be a good word to describe the path my life has taken . . . from the highest highs of show business to an overwhelming war with sadness that led me to try to take my own life. Some have described me as a resilient Texas toughie who survived and eventually thrived in sometimes difficult personal and professional circumstances, but I see it a little differently.

I've learned that my life, in fact life in general, has good parts and bad parts. They simply coexist. Embracing that truth has opened the door for more honest and authentic living, and that's really what this book is about―accepting and enthusiastically embracing what is. My hope is that after reading the book you'll find the special and unique song in you, and that as you discover your own voice, you'll live with refreshed purpose and passion.

My journey toward honest and authentic living has had more than a few bumps along the way. Drawing the line between reality and make-believe is a dilemma for many of us in show business. Even as a young child I learned that true 'professionals' put on their 'happy face' and best effort when the stage lights come on. The old adage 'the show must go on' was, and still is, in my DNA.

Don't get me wrong, I love performing. Speaking and singing is how I've made my living for many years. The spotlight is truly a happy place for me, but drawing the line between where the performance stops and real life begins can be confusing. It has caused me problems, and as the worldwide press and tabloids have often reported, it's been a struggle for my famous brothers as well.

It all started with the music. When my mom was just a girl, it was common practice for her dad, 'Papa Doan,' to pack up the family and head out to all-day 'Gospel Singings.' He repeatedly challenged her to learn everything she could about music and not be afraid to take a risk and try something new. 'I'd rather sing a new song badly than an old one well,' he'd say. (What a great metaphor for life, by the way!) That philosophy was passed on to us by my mother.

Looking back, I think this musical risk-taking attitude shaped much of what lay ahead for the Gatlins, especially Larry. As we blossomed into our careers, our trademark Gatlin family harmony and Larry's beautifully penned lyrics and melodies hit Nashville and the country music scene like a fresh wind―one that drew fans and followers from across the musical spectrum. As country music surged into the mainstream, my big brother was among those leading the charge. I was, and am, so very proud of all my brothers. My life's view will always be colored with shades of love and respect for Larry, Steve, and Rudy.

When I was three years old, we moved to Odessa, Texas. West Texas in 1957 was everything you might imagine―tough men who worked in the oilfields, churchgoing women, and the pre–health food, grease-filled burger joint, Nicky's Drive-In―where you might spot young Roy Orbison looking for a Pretty Woman (yes, he really lived nearby and was a fixture on the local teen scene).

Our childhood was filled with an odd mix of simple-to-understand truths and complicated ambition. In some ways life still feels that way today. Of course, we had no cell phones, Internet, or terrorist threats in West Texas. Right was right, wrong was wrong, and, at least in West Texas, men were men. It felt pretty safe having an ex-marine dad and three heroic older brothers to protect and nurture me. Still, being the only (sibling) girl in a family that lived, sang, and performed together had certain drawbacks.

©2012. LaDonna Gatlin and Mike Marino, PhD. All rights reserved. Reprinted from The Song in You. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442



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