Don Gibson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Don Gibson
Gibson in 1970
Gibson in 1970
Background information
Birth nameDonald Eugene Gibson
Born(1928-04-03)April 3, 1928
Shelby, North Carolina, U.S.
DiedNovember 17, 2003(2003-11-17) (aged 75)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Years active1948–2003
LabelsRCA Victor, Hickory

Donald Eugene Gibson (April 3, 1928[1] – November 17, 2003) was an American songwriter and country musician. A Country Music Hall of Fame inductee, Gibson wrote such country standards as "Sweet Dreams" and "I Can't Stop Loving You", and enjoyed a string of country hits ("Oh Lonesome Me") from 1957 into the mid-1970s.

Gibson was nicknamed "The Sad Poet" because he frequently wrote songs that told of loneliness and lost love.[1]

Early days[edit]

Don Gibson was born in Shelby, North Carolina, United States,[1] into a poor working-class family. He dropped out of school in the second grade.


His first band was called Sons of the Soil, with whom he made his first recording for Mercury Records in 1949.[1] In 1957, he journeyed to Nashville to work with producer Chet Atkins and record his self-penned songs "Oh Lonesome Me"[2] and "I Can't Stop Loving You" for RCA Victor. The afternoon session resulted in a double-sided hit on both the country and pop charts. "Oh Lonesome Me" set the pattern for a long series of other RCA hits. "Blue Blue Day", recorded prior to "Oh, Lonesome Me" was a number 1 hit in 1958. Later singles included "Look Who's Blue" (1958), "Don't Tell Me Your Troubles" (1959), "Sea of Heartbreak" (1961); "Lonesome No. 1", "I Can Mend Your Broken Heart" (1962), and "Woman (Sensuous Woman)", a number one country hit in 1972.[1]

Gibson recorded a series of successful duets with Dottie West in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the most successful of which were the Number two country hit "Rings of Gold" (1969) and the top 10 hit "There's a Story Goin' Round" (1970).[1] West and Gibson released an album together in 1969, titled Dottie and Don. He also recorded several duets with Sue Thompson,[1] among these being the Top 40 hits, "I Think They Call It Love" (1972), "Good Old Fashioned Country Love" (1974) and "Oh, How Love Changes" (1975).

His song "I Can't Stop Loving You", has been recorded by over 700 artists, most notably by Ray Charles in 1962.[1] He also wrote and recorded "Sweet Dreams", a song that would become a major 1963 crossover hit for Patsy Cline. Roy Orbison was a fan of Gibson's songwriting, and in 1967, he recorded an album of his songs simply titled Roy Orbison Sings Don Gibson.[1] Gibson's wide appeal was also shown in Neil Young's recorded version of "Oh Lonesome Me" on his 1970 album, After the Gold Rush, which is one of the few songs Young has recorded that he did not write.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Don married Bobbi Patterson in 1967. He died of natural causes on November 17, 2003.[4]


Gibson was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1973. In 2001 he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2010.[5]

The Don Gibson Theater[edit]

Located in Cleveland County, North Carolina, The Don Gibson Theater opened in November 2009 in historic uptown Shelby. Originally constructed in 1939, the renovated art deco gem features an exhibit of the life and accomplishments of singer-songwriter Don Gibson, an intimate 400-seat music hall, and adjoining function space that can accommodate up to 275 people. The theater showcases a busy schedule of premier musical performances. Past performers have included Marty Stuart, Pam Tillis, Tom Paxton, Ralph Stanley, Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, John Oates and Gene Watson.[6]



Year Album Chart Positions Label
US Country US
1958 Songs by Don Gibson Lion
Oh Lonesome Me RCA
1959 No One Stands Alone
That Gibson Boy
1960 Look Who's Blue
Sweet Dreams
1961 Girls, Guitars and Gibson
1962 Some Favorites of Mine
1964 I Wrote a Song 14 134
God Walks These Hills
1965 A Blue Million Tears
The Best of Don Gibson
Too Much Hurt 13
1966 Don Gibson with Spanish Guitars 4
Great Country Songs 14
1967 All My Love 19
1968 The King of Country Soul 21
More Country Soul 26
1969 Dottie and Don (with Dottie West) 21
Don Gibson Sings All-Time Country Gold 17
1970 The Best of Don Gibson 2
Hits, The Don Gibson Way 39 Hickory
A Perfect Mountain
1971 Hank Williams as Sung by Don Gibson
Country Green 17
1972 Woman (Sensuous Woman) 16
The Two of Us Together (with Sue Thompson)
1973 Touch the Morning / That's What I'll Do 26 Hickory/MGM
1974 Snap Your Fingers 21
The Very Best of Don Gibson 30
Bring Back Your Love to Me 38
1975 I'm the Loneliest Man 47
Oh, How Love Changes (with Sue Thompson) 43
Don't Stop Loving Me
1976 I'm All Wrapped Up in You
1977 If You Ever Get to Houston
1978 Starting All Over Again
Look Who's Blue


Year Single Chart Positions Album
US Country US
CAN Country
1956 "Sweet Dreams" 9 single only
1958 "Oh Lonesome Me" 1 7 Oh Lonesome Me
"I Can't Stop Lovin' You" 7 81
"Blue Blue Day" 1 20
"Give Myself a Party" 5 46 I Wrote a Song
"Look Who's Blue" 8 58 singles only
1959 "Who Cares" 3 43
"A Stranger to Me" 27
"Lonesome Old House" 11 71
"Don't Tell Me Your Troubles" 5 85 I Wrote a Song
"Heartbreak Avenue" Oh, Lonesome Me
"I'm Movin' On" 14 single only
1960 "Big Hearted Me" 29 Look Who's Blue
"Just One Time" 2 29
"Far, Far Away" 11 72 Sweet Dreams
"Sweet Dreams" (re-recording) 6 93
1961 "What About Me" 22 100
"The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise" 108
"Sea of Heartbreak" 2 21 The Best of Don Gibson
"I Think It's Best" Girls, Guitars and Gibson
"Lonesome Number One" 2 59 I Wrote a Song
"The Same Old Trouble" singles only
1962 "I Can Mend Your Broken Heart" 5 105
"So How Come (No One Loves Me)" 22
1963 "Head Over Heels in Love with You" 12
"It Was Worth It"
"Anything New Gets Old (Except My Love for You)" 22 I Wrote a Song
1964 "Oh Such a Stranger"
"Cause I Believe in You" 23 singles only
1965 "Again" 19
"Watch Where You're Going" 10
1966 "A Born Loser" 12 Great Country Songs
"(Yes) I'm Hurting" 6
"Funny, Familiar, Forgotten, Feelings" 8 More Country Soul
1967 "A Lost Highway" 51 Great Country Songs
"All My Love" 23 All My Love
1968 "Ashes of Love" 37 The King of Country Soul
"Good Morning, Dear" 71
"It's a Long, Long Way to Georgia" 12 20 More Country Soul
"Ever Changing Mind" 30 The King of Country Soul
1969 "Solitary" 28 The Best of Don Gibson 2
"I Will Always" 21 singles only
"There's a Story (Goin' 'Round)" (with Dottie West) 7
1970 "Don't Take All Your Loving" 17 31 A Perfect Mountain
"A Perfect Mountain" 16
"Someway" 37 31 Country Green
1971 "Guess Away the Blues" 19 4
"(I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle" 29 29 Hank Williams as Sung by Don Gibson
"Country Green" 5 7 Country Green
1972 "Far, Far Away" (re-recording) 12 6 Woman (Sensuous Woman)
"Woman (Sensuous Woman)" 1 1
"Is This the Best I'm Gonna Feel" 11 3
1973 "If You're Goin' Girl" 26 9 Touch the Morning / That's What I'll Do
"Touch the Morning" 6 5
"That's What I'll Do" 30 83
"Snap Your Fingers" 12 23 Snap Your Fingers
1974 "One Day at a Time" 8 30
"Good Old Fashioned Country Love" (with Sue Thompson) 31 29 single only
"Bring Back Your Love to Me" 9 14 Bring Back Your Love to Me
1975 "I'll Sing for You" 27
"(There She Goes) I Wish Her Well" 24 48 I'm the Loneliest Man
"Don't Stop Loving Me" 43 Don't Stop Loving Me
"I Don't Think I'll Ever (Get Over You)" 76
1976 "You've Got to Stop Hurting Me Darling" 79
"Doing My Time" 39 I'm All Wrapped Up in You
"I'm All Wrapped Up in You" 23
1977 "Fan the Flame, Feed the Fire" 30 If You Ever Get to Houston
"If You Ever Get to Houston (Look Me Down)" 16
"When Do We Stop Starting Over" 67
1978 "Starting All Over Again" 16 Starting All Over Again
"The Fool" 22
"Oh, Such a Stranger" 61 Look Who's Blue
"I Love You Because" flip
"Any Day Now" 26 31
1979 "Forever One Day at a Time" 37 33 singles only
1980 "Sweet Sensuous Sensations" 42
"I'd Be Crazy Over You"
"Love Fires" 80

Singles from collaboration albums[edit]

Year Single Artist Chart Positions Album
US Country CAN Country
1969 "Rings of Gold" Dottie West 2 1 Dottie & Don
"Sweet Memories" 32
1970 "Till I Can't Take It Anymore" 46
1971 "The Two of Us Together" Sue Thompson 50 The Two of Us Together
1972 "Did You Ever Think" 71
"I Think They Call It Love" 37
"Cause I Love You" 64
1973 "Go with Me" 52 49
"Warm Love" 53 52
1975 "No One Will Ever Know" Oh, How Love Changes
"Oh, How Love Changes" 36
"Maybe Tomorrow"
1976 "Get Ready-Here I Come" 98
"Let's Get Together"


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. pp. 520/1. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  2. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 10 – Tennessee Firebird: American country music before and after Elvis. [Part 2]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries.
  3. ^ Wolfe, Charles K. (2002). Classic Country Legends of Country Music. Taylor & Francis. p. 256. ISBN 9781135957346.
  4. ^ "US Country Legend Don Gibson Dies - 2003-11-18 | Voice of America - English". Retrieved September 3, 2021.
  5. ^ "2010 Inductees". North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  6. ^ "About Us".
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. p. 356. ISBN 978-0-89820-188-8.

Other sources[edit]

  • Wolfe, Stacey (1998). "Don Gibson". In The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Paul Kingsbury, Editor. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 199.

External links[edit]