Charlie Louvin at Banjo Jim's NYC 2008
|Birth name||Charles Elzer Loudermilk|
July 7, 1927|
Henagar, Alabama, U.S.
|Died||January 26, 2011
Wartrace, Tennessee, U.S.
|Labels||MGM, Capitol, United Artists, First Generation, Playback, Watermelon|
|Associated acts||The Louvin Brothers, Melba Montgomery|
Charles Elzer Loudermilk (July 7, 1927 – January 26, 2011), known professionally as Charlie Louvin, was an American country music singer and songwriter. He is best known as one of the Louvin Brothers, and was a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1955.
Louvin began singing professionally with his brother Ira as a teenager on local radio programs in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The boys sang traditional and gospel 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, the brothers moved first to Knoxville and later to Memphis, working as postal clerks by day while making appearances in the evening. Another brief disbandment due to Charlie's service in the Korean War led to the brothers' relocation to Birmingham, Alabama.
Primarily known as gospel artists, the Louvins 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 during the 1950s, becoming official members in 1955. The Louvin Brothers released numerous singles, such as "When I Stop Dreaming", with over 20 recordings reaching the country music charts. Their rich harmonies served as an influence to later artists such as Emmylou Harris, Gram Parsons and The Byrds.
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 the 2000s, Charlie had begun rebuilding[according to whom?] 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 Produced by Mark Nevers. The songs mainly pair Louvin with other singers, such as George Jones, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, Alex McManus of Bright Eyes, Elvis Costello, 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".
As of 2003[update], Louvin lived in Manchester, Tennessee. He closed his Louvin Brothers museum in Nashville and was looking to open another one in Monteagle, Tennessee, near Chattanooga. He was a cousin of songwriter John D. Loudermilk.
After his July 2010 cancer surgery, Louvin made his first public appearance, and second to last, at Nashville's Americana Music Conference, Sept. 10th. He performed with Emmylou Harris and longtime Harris and Gram Parsons accompanist Al Perkins on steel guitar.
Louvin made one final public appearance on RFD-TV's The Marty Stuart Show, alongside his son, Sonny Louvin. He performed 'See The Big Man Cry', after which country music icon Connie Smith spoke of her admiration for Louvin, before performing 'I Don't Love You Anymore'. Leroy Troy, alongside Lester Armistead and Dan Kelly then performed 'Bald Knob, Arkansas', which was written by Charlie's brother, Ira Louvin. Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives then performed the Louvin Brothers gospel song 'The Family Who Prays'. The show then closed with Louvin singing the Tom T. Hall song 'Back When We Were Young', with Marty Stuart accompanying him on mandolin. The show aired on January 29, 2011, three days after Louvin's death. The show ended with a memorial message: "This episode was taped on December 2, 2010. It was to be Mr. Louvin's last televised performance."
Louvin underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer 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, aged 83.
|1965||Less and Less & I Don't Love You Anymore||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?||—|
|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)||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)||—||Soundwaves|
|1996||The Longest Train (w/ Julian Dawson and Steuart Smith)||—||Watermelon|
|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 Battles Rage On||—|
|US Country||CAN Country|
|1964||"I Don't Love You Anymore"||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|
|"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)||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"||—||—|
|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"||—||—|
|"Store Up Love"||—||—|
|1978||"When I Was Your Man"||—||—|
|1979||"Two of a Kind"||—||—|
|"Love Don't Care" (w/ Emmylou Harris)||91||—|
|1982||"North Wind" (w/ Jim & Jesse)||56||—||Jim and Jesse and Charlie|
|"Showboat Gamblin'" (w/ Jim & Jesse)||—||—|
|1989||"The Precious Jewel" (w/ Roy Acuff)||87||—||singles only|
|"He Keeps Crying Over You"||—||—|
|2010||"Back When We Were Young"||—||—||"Single Only"|
- "Charlie Louvin". Gaylord Entertainment. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
- Louvin, Charlie (2010). "Country Music Hall of Famer, Charlie Louvin, Takes Us from 1927 to 2010" (Interview).
- Wolfe, Charles K. (1996). In Close Harmony: The Story of the Louvin Brothers. University of Mississippi Press. ISBN 978-0-87805-892-1.
- Johnson, Jon (October 2003). "Livin' Lovin' Losin' the Louvin's Way". Country Standard Time. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- "Louvin Brothers Induction to Country Music Hall of Fame". Country Music Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on January 30, 2011. Retrieved January 22, 2011.
- Gerome, John (2009-02-25). "An 81-year-old's country music career resurgence". Bangkok Post. p. 39.
- A Country Collection: We're Louvin It. Hoekstra, Dave. November 30, 2003. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- "Seeing Charlie Louvin for the last time". No Depression. No Depression. Retrieved 2012-03-29.
- Talbott, Chris (July 8, 2010). "Country Music Hall of Famer Charlie Louvin has pancreatic cancer, scheduled for surgery". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 13, 2010.[dead link]
- Charlie Louvin's Cancer Inoperable. August 5, 2010 Retrieved August 8, 2010
- Blau, Max (2011-01-26). "Charlie Louvin: 1927-2011". PasteMagazine.com. Decatur, Georgia: Paste Media Group. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
- "Charlie Louvin: 1927-2011". Opry News. Gaylord Entertainment. Retrieved 2011-01-26.[permanent dead link]
- Works cited
- Gutterman, Jimmy. (1998). "The Louvin Brothers". In The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Paul Kingsbury, Editor. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 305–6.