Charlie Louvin

January 26, 2011 by staff 

Charlie Louvin, (CP) – Charlie Louvin, half of the duo The Louvin Brothers, whose harmonies and inspired fellow pop singers for decades, died Wednesday morning from cancer of the pancreas. He was 83.

Brett Steele, his manager said the Country Music Hall of Fame singer died at his home in Wartrace, Tenn. Louvin will be a private burial Sunday in Nashville, said Steele.

Louvin was diagnosed with cancer last year and vowed to fight it. He was operated on unsuccessfully to remove the tumor, but continued to schedule shows and even released an album. It was one of several star guests on a show of welcome to the home of the Grand Ole Opry last year after floods damaged the house Opry.

“I’m not afraid to die,” Louvin says The Associated Press in 2010, just days after diagnosis. “We’ll all do that. And I had 83 years of almost uninterrupted good health, so I know it is not by accident. So I was lucky in that long, and I could use a couple more. ”

The unique sound of Charlie and his brother, Ira, was very influential in the history of both country and rock and they were inducted into the Hall in 2001.

Among their biggest hits were “I Do not Believe you’ve Met My Baby,” which was No. 1 in 1965, “When I Stop Dreaming,”‘‘we hope that you hope, “and” You’re Running Wild. ”

The brothers decided to dissolve their duo in 1963. Ira died in a Missouri car accident two years later. Charlie later recalled that differences in personality and drinking Ira friction between them, but said they probably would have met if Ira had lived.

Charlie Louvin recorded regularly after his brother died, most recently releasing “The Battle Rages On”, a collection of songs of war last winter. His biggest solo success was “See the Big Man Cry” in 1965 and “I Do not Love You Anymore” in 1964.

The Louvin harmony influenced acts from the early Everly Brothers. Emmylou Harris had a hit with their “If only I could Win Your Love” in 1975. The Notting Hillbillies recorded the Louvin “weapon of prayer” in 1990.

Interest in his music re-emerged as Louvin reached his 80th birthday. In 2007, his first studio album in years, Charlie Louvin, “benefiting from appearances by artists like George Jones and Elvis Costello was nominated for a Grammy Award as best traditional folk album.

A year later, his “Steps To Heaven” was designated as the best Southern, country or bluegrass gospel album. It was one of two albums he released in 2008, was the other “Charlie Louvin Sings Murder Ballads and Disaster Songs.”

Louvin said in a 1979 interview to the Associated Press that he and his brother, together, did not become superstars in country music.

“If we were together today, we could be the hottest of the group is where his music is -. The Louvin Brothers Everybody tries to sound Louvin.

He recalled in an AP interview in 2007 that Ira “is extremely difficult to deal with when he drank and he drank too often.” But he said his brother was phenomenal talent as a composer, taking ideas from Charlie and transforms them into finished songs.

“My job was to listen to people … and if they said something that caught your ear that would make a good title … I write and I give you Ira.”

A complete song, Louvin recalled, would “come to Him as God, as it was read out another piece of paper. … It was kind of put my name on the songs too.”

The duo has joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1955, and Charlie Louvin has remained an Opry artist for over 50 years.

During a stretch of the tour in 1955, Elvis Presley was the first part of the brothers. This second billing did not last long, he recalled in 2007.

“It did not take one month to exhaustion Elvis Presley” and nearly the backdrop of the entire scene was the name. He had great fast, very fast, but it was a good boy. ”

He laughed when he said he was “a bit like people in the audience. – I do not know what he does … My brother said he is the only man he had ever seen who could wear his clothes on the inside with all his agitation. ”

Their association with rock ‘n’ roll become stronger when Gram Parsons, presented “sound of The Byrds and other willing accomplices in the late 1960s, including The Byrds” The Louvin album of country-rock Revolutionary Sweetheart of the Rodeo. ”

Charlie Louvin was born in Charles Loudermilk Henager, Ala., in 1927. He and Ira, born in 1924, worked in the fields of the family farm and started singing together as teenagers, the development of harmony that would become their trademark.

“I remember my brother and me singing together when I was five and he was eight,” Louvin says The Associated Press. “He already knew, and I am teaching.”

They worked on radio stations in Knoxville, Tenn., and Memphis, Tennessee in the 1940s, and signed their first record deal with Apollo in 1947. Finally, their sound will change music.

“I am the lover greater harmony in the world,” Louvin said last year. “If the song is a song, you should put the harmony on this.”


AP writer Joe Edwards and AP Entertainment Writer Chris Talbott in Nashville contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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