As some of you may have noticed we placed the background on the American Country Music Chart site to black today and it will remain black for several days in memory of Charlie Louvin. I had the rare opportunity to perform with Charlie a few years ago at an event, known as “Jump for the Cause” in the hills of Tennessee just outside Nashville. I set up my swag table next to his and we got to talking a little bit before he retired to the food area for a cup of coffee. I was amazed to see all the people run to the stools around him not because he was signing music, but because he was telling stories…
The other musicians were like children around a warm fire at Christmas listening intently as he spoke of the days past when Elvis stole his bass player and Jerry Lee Lewis stole a gig. I thought to myself at that moment in time that it was a true privilege to hear these stories and to make them part of the fabric of my music career because it is the rich history of Country music that makes it feel a lot more like a network of family members than the music business.
I will keep the Louvin family in my prayers and ask you all to do the same. Furthermore, I will play a song this weekend on the ACMC Top 40 Countdown as salute to his music career and the stories he shared both on and off the stage with us for 60 plus years….
Thanks for Believing,
As half of the Louvin Brothers, Charlie Louvin (born Charlie Elzer Loudermilk on July 7, 1927) was one of the most influential musicians of the ’40s and ’50s; the Louvins defined close harmony duet singing for several generations of country fans. After the Louvins disbanded in 1963, Charlie began a solo career, recording for Capitol Records until 1972. During that time, he had two Top Ten hits — “I Don’t Love You Anymore” (number four, 1964) and “See the Big Man Cry” (number seven, 1965) — as well as a series of minor hits. Louvin continued to perform and record for a variety of labels well into the ’90s. The eponymous album Charlie Louvin was released in 2007 on the Tompkins Square label and featured a cast of characters including George Jones, Elvis Costello, Marty Stuart, Tom T. Hall, and Jeff Tweedy. It was nominated for a Grammy Award the following year, thus prompting Louvin to continue releasing new material. Steps to Heaven, a collection of traditional gospel tunes, arrived in 2008, followed two months later by the tragedy-themed Charlie Louvin Sings Murder Ballads and Disaster Songs. Two albums were released in 2010: The Battles Rage On, produced by Mitchell Brown and featuring songs about war and redemption; and Hickory Wind, a live set recorded at City Auditorium in Waycross, GA in 2009.
Photo and Bio: Courtesy of Airplay Direct