In 1979, when Gatlin signed with Columbia Records, he decided to officially have his brothers billed on his singles and on his albums. That year, their name was officially "Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers". In October, they released the album, Straight Ahead. It spawned the classic single "All the Gold In California", which became their biggest hit together, taking the No. 1 spot on the Hot Country Songs list. This was Larry Gatlin's second number one hit, and led to his being awarded "Top Male Vocalist of the Year" by the Academy of Country Music that year. On June 06, 1980, Straight Ahead was certified gold.
The group's next big hit came in early 1980, with "Take Me To Your Lovin' Place", which peaked at No. 5 in 1981; they followed up with "What Are We Doin' Lonesome", which peaked at No. 4 later in the year. They continued their hit success, garnering top 10 and top 20 hits, with "In Like With Each Other" (1982), "She Used to Sing on Sunday" (1982), "Sure Feels Like Love" (1982), "Almost Called Her Baby By Mistake" (1983), and "Denver" (1984). In 1983, the group had their third (and last) No. 1 hit, "Houston (Means I'm One Day Closer to You)". Even though the group never achieved another No. 1 hit, they had hits that came close, like the jaunty release in 1986, "She Used to Be Somebody's Baby" (which peaked at No. 2), as well as 1987's "Talkin' to the Moon", and 1988's "Love of a Lifetime" (both of which peaked at No. 4).
The Gatlin Brothers were also one of the first country groups to have music videos, like 1984's "The Lady Takes the Cowboy Everytime". In 1985, Gatlin wrote the song "Indian Summer" with Barry Gibb, which he recorded as a duet with Roy Orbison. In 1989, the Gatlin Brothers sang National Anthem before game three of the 1989 World Series, played at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.