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Charlie Louvin

Charlie Louvin

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Charles Elzer Loudermilk (July 7, 1927 – January 26, 2011), known professionally as Charlie Louvin, was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 country music
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

 singer and songwriter. He is best known as one of the Louvin Brothers, and was a member of the Grand Ole Opry
Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry is a weekly country music stage concert in Nashville, Tennessee, that has presented the biggest stars of that genre since 1925. It is also among the longest-running broadcasts in history since its beginnings as a one-hour radio "barn dance" on WSM-AM...

 since 1955.

Biography


Born in Henagar, Alabama
Henagar, Alabama
Henagar is a town in DeKalb County, Alabama, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 2,400. Henagar is located on top of Sand Mountain. Henagar Junior High School is Home of the Wildcats. Henagar is home to one of the few drive-in theatres in the United States.-Geography:Henagar is...

, Louvin was one of 7 children. He started singing when he was 8 years old.

Louvin began singing professionally with his brother Ira
Ira Louvin
Ira Lonnie Loudermilk , known professionally as Ira Louvin, was an American country music singer, mandolinist and songwriter. He was a cousin of songwriter John D. Loudermilk.-Biography:...

 as a teenager on local radio programs in Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga is the fourth-largest city in the US state of Tennessee , with a population of 169,887. It is the seat of Hamilton County...

. The boys sang traditional and gospel music
Gospel music
Gospel music is music that is written to express either personal, spiritual or a communal belief regarding Christian life, as well as to give a Christian alternative to mainstream secular music....

 in the harmony style they had learned while performing in their church's choir.

After Charlie left the act briefly in 1945 to serve in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the brothers moved first to Knoxville
Knoxville, Tennessee
Founded in 1786, Knoxville is the third-largest city in the U.S. state of Tennessee, U.S.A., behind Memphis and Nashville, and is the county seat of Knox County. It is the largest city in East Tennessee, and the second-largest city in the Appalachia region...

 and later to Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....

, working as postal clerks by day while making appearances in the evening. Another brief disbandment due to Charlie's service in the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 led to the brothers' relocation to Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. The city is the county seat of Jefferson County. According to the 2010 United States Census, Birmingham had a population of 212,237. The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area, in estimate by the U.S...

.

Primarily known as gospel artists, the Louvins
Louvin Brothers
The Louvin Brothers were an American country music duo composed of brothers Ira Lonnie Loudermilk and Charlie Elzer Loudermilk , better known as Ira and Charlie Louvin. They helped popularize close harmony, a genre of country music.-History:The brothers adopted the name Louvin Brothers in the...

 were convinced by a sponsor that "you can't sell tobacco with gospel music," and began adding secular music to their repertoire. They began making appearances on the famed Grand Ole Opry
Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry is a weekly country music stage concert in Nashville, Tennessee, that has presented the biggest stars of that genre since 1925. It is also among the longest-running broadcasts in history since its beginnings as a one-hour radio "barn dance" on WSM-AM...

 during the 1950s, becoming official members in 1955. The Louvin Brothers released numerous singles, such as "Little Reasons," with over 20 recordings reaching the country music charts. Their rich harmonies served as an influence to later artists such as Emmylou Harris
Emmylou Harris
Emmylou Harris is an American singer-songwriter and musician. In addition to her work as a solo artist and bandleader, both as an interpreter of other composers' works and as a singer-songwriter, she is a sought-after backing vocalist and duet partner, working with numerous other artists including...

, Gram Parsons
Gram Parsons
Gram Parsons was an American singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist. Parsons is best known for his work within the country genre; he also mixed blues, folk, and rock to create what he called "Cosmic American Music"...

 and The Byrds
The Byrds
The Byrds were an American rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1964. The band underwent multiple line-up changes throughout its existence, with frontman Roger McGuinn remaining the sole consistent member until the group disbanded in 1973...

.

By the 1960s Charlie and Ira's popularity had waned and the brothers split up in 1963. In 1965, Ira was killed in a car accident. Charlie continued to perform solo, making numerous appearances on the Grand Ole Opry and in later years acting as an elder statesman for country music.

In 2001, the Louvin Brothers were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

In the 2000s, he had begun rebuilding his career. Although he readily admitted he was never much of a writer, Louvin released a disc of classics containing one new song, a tribute to Ira, and a gospel album on Tompkins Square Records. The songs mainly pair Louvin with other singers, such as George Jones
George Jones
George Glenn Jones is an American country music singer known for his long list of hit records, his distinctive voice and phrasing, and his marriage to Tammy Wynette....

, Jeff Tweedy
Jeff Tweedy
Jeffrey Scot "Jeff" Tweedy is an American songwriter, musician and leader of the band Wilco. Tweedy joined rockabilly band The Plebes with high school friend Jay Farrar in the early 1980s, but Tweedy's musical interests caused one of Farrar's brothers to quit...

 of Wilco
Wilco
Wilco is an American alternative rock band based in Chicago, Illinois. The band was formed in 1994 by the remaining members of alternative country group Uncle Tupelo following singer Jay Farrar's departure. Wilco's lineup has changed frequently, with only singer Jeff Tweedy and bassist John...

, Alex McManus
Alex McManus
Alex McManus is a musician from Omaha, Nebraska. He is part of the indie scene and played with bands such as Acorns, Empire State, Lambchop, Vic Chesnutt, and Bright Eyes...

 of Bright Eyes, Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello , born Declan Patrick MacManus, is an English singer-songwriter. He came to prominence as an early participant in London's pub rock scene in the mid-1970s and later became associated with the punk/New Wave genre. Steeped in word play, the vocabulary of Costello's lyrics is broader...

, and Derwin Hinson. He also wrote two songs with Rockabilly Hall of Famer, Colonel Robert Morris one of which is on Morris' trucking CD, "Highway Hero".

, Louvin lived in Wartrace, Tennessee
Wartrace, Tennessee
Wartrace is a town in Bedford County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 548 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Wartrace is located at ....

. He closed his Louvin Brothers museum in Nashville and was looking to open another one in Monteagle, Tennessee
Monteagle, Tennessee
Monteagle is a town in Franklin, Grundy, and Marion counties in the U.S. state of Tennessee, in the Cumberland Plateau region of the southeastern part of the state...

, near Chattanooga
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga is the fourth-largest city in the US state of Tennessee , with a population of 169,887. It is the seat of Hamilton County...

. He was a cousin of songwriter John D. Loudermilk
John D. Loudermilk
John D. Loudermilk is an American singer and songwriter.-Biography:Born in Durham, North Carolina, Loudermilk grew up in a family who were members of the Salvation Army faith and was influenced by the church singing. His cousins Ira and Charlie Loudermilk were known professionally as the Louvin...

.

Louvin underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer refers to a malignant neoplasm of the pancreas. The most common type of pancreatic cancer, accounting for 95% of these tumors is adenocarcinoma, which arises within the exocrine component of the pancreas. A minority arises from the islet cells and is classified as a...

 on July 22, 2010. Doctors expected a full recovery, but "the surgery did not go as planned," according to Louvin's son Sonny, and "he will begin using alternative methods of treatment, going forward". Louvin died in the early morning on January 26, 2011, in Wartrace, Tennessee
Wartrace, Tennessee
Wartrace is a town in Bedford County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 548 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Wartrace is located at ....

, aged 83.

Albums

Year Album US Country Label
1965 Less and Less & I Don't Love You Anymore
Less and Less
Less and Less is the debut album by American country music singer Charlie Louvin, released in 1964. The album is titled after Louvin's first two solo singles. Both reached the Billboard Country Singles top 40 chart; "Less and Less" reached number 27 and "I Don't Love You Anymore" peaked at number 4...

6 Capitol
1966 The Many Moods of Charlie Louvin 9
Lonesome Is Me 13
1967 I'll Remember Always 22
I Forgot to Cry 25
1968 Will You Visit Me On Sundays?
1969 Hey Daddy 37
The Kind of Man I Am 32
1970 Here's a Toast to Mama 44
Ten Times Charlie
1971 Something to Brag About (w/ Melba Montgomery
Melba Montgomery
Melba Montgomery is an American country music singer. She is best known for duet hit recordings in the 1960s with country music singer George Jones....

)
45
Baby, You've Got What It Takes (w/ Melba Montgomery) 45
1972 The Best of Charlie Louvin
1974 It Almost Felt Like Love United Artists
1982 Jim and Jesse and Charlie (w/ Jim & Jesse
Jim & Jesse
Jim & Jesse were an American bluegrass music duo composed of brothers Jim McReynolds and Jesse McReynolds...

)
Soundwaves
2007 Charlie Louvin Tompkins Square
Live at Shake It Records
2008 Steps to Heaven
Sings Murder Ballads and Disaster Songs
2009 Hickory Wind: Live at the Gram Parsons Guitar Pull True North Records
2010 The Battle Rages On

Singles

Year Single Chart Positions Album
US Country
Hot Country Songs
Hot Country Songs is a chart published weekly by Billboard magazine in the United States.This 60-position chart lists the most popular country music songs, calculated weekly mostly by airplay and occasionally commercial sales...

CAN Country
1964 "I Don't Love You Anymore
I Don't Love You Anymore
"I Don't Love You Anymore" is a single by American country music artist Charlie Louvin. Released in May 1964, it was the first single from his album Less and Less/I Don't Love You Anymore. The song peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. It also reached number 1 on the RPM...

"
4 1 Less and Less / I Don't Love You Anymore
1965 "Less and Less" 27
"See the Big Man Cry" 7
"Think I'll Go Somewhere and Cry Myself to Sleep" 26 The Many Moods of Charlie Louvin
1966 "You Finally Said Something Good (When You Said Goodbye)" 15 Lonesome Is Me
"Something's Wrong"
"The Proof Is in the Kissing" 58 Will You Visit Me On Sundays?
1967 "Off and On" 38 I Forgot to Cry
"On the Other Hand" 44
"I Forgot to Cry" 46
"The Only Way Out (Is to Walk Over Me)" 3 Will You Visit Me On Sundays?
1968 "Will You Visit Me On Sundays?" 20 22
"Hey Daddy" 15 21 Hey Daddy
1969 "What Are Those Things (With Big Black Wings)" 19 The Kind of Man I Am
"Let's Put Our World Back Together" 27
"Little Reasons" 29 Here's a Toast to Mama
1970 "Here's a Toast to Mama" 42
"Tiny Wings" Ten Times Charlie
"Come and Get It Mama" 47
"Something to Brag About" (w/ Melba Montgomery
Melba Montgomery
Melba Montgomery is an American country music singer. She is best known for duet hit recordings in the 1960s with country music singer George Jones....

)
18 26 Something to Brag About
"Sittin' Bull" 54 single only
1971 "Did You Ever" (w/ Melba Montgomery) 26 Baby, You've Got What It Takes
"Love Has to Die by Itself" The Best of Charlie Louvin
"Baby, You've Got What It Takes" (w/ Melba Montgomery) 30 Baby, You've Got What It Takes
"I'm Gonna Leave You" (w/ Melba Montgomery) 60 singles only
1972 "I Placed a Call"
"Just in Time (To Watch Love Die)" 70
"Baby, What's Wrong with Us" (w/ Melba Montgomery) 66
1973 "A Man Likes Things Like That" (w/ Melba Montgomery) 59
"Bottom of the Fifth"
"Funny Man"
1974 "You're My Wife, She's My Woman" 36 It Almost Felt Like Love
"It Almost Felt Like Love" 76
"I Want to See You (One More Time)" singles only
1975 "I Just Want a Happy Life"
"Is I Love You That Easy to Say"
1976 "Sweet Texas"
"Store Up Love"
1978 "When I Was Your Man"
1979 "Two of a Kind"
"Love Don't Care" (w/ Emmylou Harris
Emmylou Harris
Emmylou Harris is an American singer-songwriter and musician. In addition to her work as a solo artist and bandleader, both as an interpreter of other composers' works and as a singer-songwriter, she is a sought-after backing vocalist and duet partner, working with numerous other artists including...

)
91
1982 "North Wind" (w/ Jim & Jesse
Jim & Jesse
Jim & Jesse were an American bluegrass music duo composed of brothers Jim McReynolds and Jesse McReynolds...

)
56 Jim and Jesse and Charlie
"Showboat Gamblin'" (w/ Jim & Jesse)
1989 "The Precious Jewel" (w/ Roy Acuff
Roy Acuff
Roy Claxton Acuff was an American country music singer, fiddler, and promoter. Known as the King of Country Music, Acuff is often credited with moving the genre from its early string band and "hoedown" format to the star singer-based format that helped make it internationally successful.Acuff...

)
87 singles only
"He Keeps Crying Over You"
2007 "Ira" Charlie Louvin
2010 "Back When We Were Young" "Single Only"

External links