Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Where the sun never shines

One of the top duos in country music, The Louvin Brothers modeled their act after some of the best of the popular brothers groups of the 1930's. They were influenced by The Blue Sky Boys (Bill and Earl Bolick), The Delmore Brothers, The Dixon Brothers, and The Monroe Brothers. In turn they were a major influence on later brother acts such as The Everly Brothers.

Charlie (born Charlie Elzer Loudermilk, July 7, 1927) and Ira (born Lonnie Ira Loudermilk, April 21, 1924) were born and raised in northern Alabama. They performed throughout the 1940's and 50's gaining a reputation for their Country Gospel numbers. I suppose they were from the same belief as the likes of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, for as they sang their beautiful Gospel harmonies on stage, their off-stage lives were less than angelic.

During the 1950's the Louvin Brothers expanded their repertoire to suit the changing sounds of Country music and had a string of hits in the late 50's. By the early 1960's they decided to part ways. Each launched solo careers, with Charlie having a couple dozen moderate hits. Ira didn't fair as well. Shortly after the break-up with his brother, Ira was shot and seriously wounded during a drunken argument with his third wife, Faye. After his recovery he resumed performing. This time touring with his fourth wife, Anne Young. In June of 1965, while the couple were performing a week of concerts in the Kansas City, Missouri area, they were both killed in an automobile accident.

Charlie's beautiful tenor voice and guitar and Ira's high tenor and mandolin produced some great songs during their "experimental" stage in the later 50's, that influenced another generation of musicians. Their "If I Could Only Win Your Love" was the first hit by a young Emmylou Harris. Gram Parsons was fond of the Louvin Brothers, recording "Cash on the Barrelhead" as a solo artist and "The Christian Life" with The Byrds on the classic "Sweetheart of the Rodeo" LP.

Louvin Brothers - In The Pines.mp3

Louvin Brothers - Brown's Ferry Blues.mp3

Louvin Brothers - Cash On The Barrelhead.mp3


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good choices Ed
Thanks for in the Pines


July 06, 2006 7:24 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

Anytime, my friend.

July 06, 2006 9:17 AM  

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