Vern Gosdin performing on TNN (1999)
|Birth name||Vernon Gosdin|
|Born||August 5, 1934|
|Origin||Woodland, Alabama, USA|
|Died||April 28, 2009
Nashville, Tennessee, USA
|Associated acts||Emmylou Harris
Vernon "Vern" Gosdin (August 5, 1934 – April 28, 2009) was an American country music singer. Known as "The Voice" he had 19 top-10 solo hits on the country music charts from 1977 through 1990. Three of these hits went to number one: "I Can Tell By the Way You Dance (You're Gonna Love Me Tonight)", "Set 'Em Up Joe" and "I'm Still Crazy".
- 1 Career
- 1.1 Early years
- 1.2 1960s - West Coast Country music movement
- 1.3 1970s - Retirement and comeback
- 1.4 1981-1983: Today My World Slipped Away
- 1.5 1983-1985: If You're Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right) and There Is a Season
- 1.6 1987-1989: Chiseled in Stone
- 1.7 1989-1990: Alone
- 1.8 2007 book
- 1.9 Later years
- 2 Death
- 3 Discography
- 4 References
- 5 External links
As the sixth child in a family of nine, Vern Gosdin began singing in a church in Woodland, Alabama, where his mother played piano. Vern and two brothers sang gospel on Birmingham radio station WVOK. Vern later moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he ran the D&G Tap. He idolized The Louvin Brothers and The Blue Sky Boys as a young man.
1960s - West Coast Country music movement
In 1961, he moved to California, where he joined the West Coast Country music movement, first as a member of the Golden State Boys, which became The Hillmen, and included Chris Hillman. Vern then formed The Gosdin Brothers with brother Rex. The duo hit the charts in the late '60s with "Hangin' On" on the Bakersfield International label, then with "Till The End" on Capitol Records. During the same time period the Gosdin Brothers were featured on Hillman's former Byrds mate Gene Clark's first solo album, the 1967 well-regarded Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers, singing backing vocals on all of the tracks behind the lead vocals of Clark and Lead Guitars of Clarence White, Glen Campbell, and Bill Rinehart (later of the Merry-Go-Round).
1970s - Retirement and comeback
He retired from performing during the 1970s and moved to Cartersville, GA where he operated a glass company. In 1976, he signed with Elektra Records and his first hit was a remake of "Hangin' On", which featured Emmylou Harris on harmony vocals and peaked at No. 16. His next single, "Yesterday's Gone", which also featured Harris, became his first Top 10 hit in 1977. Several more hits followed between 1977 and 1979 with the biggest of these hits being a remake of "Till the End" and a cover of The Association's "Never My Love" which also featured harmony vocals from Janie Frickie.
1981-1983: Today My World Slipped Away
In 1981, Vern signed with Ovation Records and scored a Top 10 hit with "Dream of Me". After Ovation Records closed their doors later in 1981, Vern signed with A.M.I. Records where he scored a Top 10 hit in 1982 with "Today My World Slipped Away". (This song later became a number-three hit for George Strait).
'Tennessee Courage': First released by Gosdin in 1983, Tennessee Courage was written by Louis Brown, Vern Gosden and Max D. Barnes. The song would also be recorded by Keith Whitley and many others over the years and is considered a Hard Country Cult Classic. Max D. Barnes and Louis Brown were both notable Nashville songwriters each with hundreds of "cuts" to their credit. Max D. Barnes would rack up over 42 song writing awards in his career. Louis Brown would go on to write as a staff writer for 'Tree Publishing' and 'Stoney Lonesome Music Publishing' both headquartered on Music Row in Nashville, TN.
He signed with Complete Records in the early '80s, and in 1984 released "There Is A Season," picked by the Los Angeles Times as best country album of the year. The early 80s also found a great combination of talent as Vern Gosdin traveled from coast to coast opening shows for George Jones. During this time, George Jones's manager, Gerald Murray, of Muscle Shoals, Alabama had the same home office for the two singers. George lived in Muscle Shoals at the time, and the duo's office facility became a pivot location for great writers and other entertainers, including Hank Williams Jr.
1983-1985: If You're Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right) and There Is a Season
He made the top 10 consistently in the early '80s, really hitting his stride when he teamed with Max D. Barnes as a songwriting collaborator. The pair specialized in songs of cheating and barroom romance, often delivering an over-the-top emotionalism that got Gosdin compared to the ultimate legend of honky tonk vocals -- George Jones. In 1983, Gosdin had two top 5 hits — "If You're Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right)" and "Way Down Deep." The following year, he had his first No. 1 single with "I Can Tell by the Way You Dance (You're Gonna Love Me Tonight)", which had previously been recorded by Gary Morris.
1987-1989: Chiseled in Stone
After Compleat Records went bankrupt, Gosdin signed with Columbia in 1987. He had success right off the bat with "Do You Believe Me Now." He hit No. 1 once again with a tribute to Ernest Tubb called "Set 'Em Up Joe." Gosdin's "Chiseled in Stone", co-written with Barnes, won the Country Music Association's Song of the Year award in 1989.
His 1989 album Alone was a concept album in a traditional country style. It chronicled the dissolution of Gosdin's marriage and included his final number-one hit: "I'm Still Crazy". From 1989-1991, he released a number of songs and three more made the Billboard top 10: "Right in the Wrong Direction," "That Just About Does It" and "Is It Raining at Your House." "Raining" has been covered by Brad Paisley, and "That Just About Does It" by Willie Nelson
In 2007 Vern Gosdin's manager, Dr. Gerald Murray of Muscle Shoals, Alabama wrote "True Life Stories About 'The Voice'." The book told of the life and times the two had together and about some of the many people in Gosdin's life. Murray was a part of Gosdin's life for some 30 years and referred to Gosdin as a father, brother and friend.
Gosdin continued writing and singing up until April 28, 2009, despite his battle and recovery from his first stroke in 1998. The final four songs he wrote and recorded were with a co-writer Joe Sins in 2009 of the country music duo The Sins. His final songs "Coldest Bedroom", "Let's get down to business", Santa's driving a chevrolet this year" and "Dixie on my mind" were a testament of his continued talent to the end. Vern was often seen at the Cracker barrel and Santa Fe restaurants on music valley drive and loved to visit with his fans.
Gosdin, who suffered a stroke in early April 2009, died at a Nashville hospital the evening of April 28, 2009 at the age of 74.
|US Country||CAN Country|
|1968||Sounds of Goodbye (The Gosdin Brothers)||39||—||—||Capitol|
|1969||The Hillmen (The Hillmen)||—||—||—||Together|
|1977||Till the End||10||—||—||Elektra|
|1978||Never My Love||24||—||—|
|1979||You've Got Somebody||—||—||—|
|The Best of Vern Gosdin||—||—||—|
|1982||Today My World Slipped Away||30||—||—||A.M.I.|
|1983||If You're Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right)||17||—||—||Compleat|
|1984||There Is a Season||17||4||—|
|If Jesus Comes Tomorrow (What Then)||—||—||—|
|1985||Time Stood Still||31||—||—|
|1988||Chiseled in Stone||7||—||Gold||Columbia|
|1990||10 Years of Greatest Hits||21||—||Gold|
|1991||Out of My Heart||41||—||—|
|1993||Nickels, Dimes and Love||—||—||—|
|2004||Back in the Swing of Things||—||—||—||VGM Records|
|2005||Very Best of the Voice||—||—||—||Music Mill Entertainment|
|2012||Country: Vern Gosdin||63||—||—||Sony|
|US Country||CAN Country|
|1967||"Hangin' On" (The Gosdin Brothers)||37||—||Single only|
|1976||"Hangin' On" (with Emmylou Harris)||16||15||Till the End|
|1977||"Yesterday's Gone" (with Emmylou Harris)||9||11|
|"Till the End"||7||37|
|"Mother Country Music"||17||27|
|1978||"It Started All Over Again"||23||—|
|"Never My Love"||9||30||Never My Love|
|"Break My Mind"||13||17|
|1979||"You've Got Somebody, I've Got Somebody"||16||27||You've Got Somebody|
|"All I Want and Need Forever"||21||52|
|1981||"Too Long Gone"||28||—||Today My World Slipped Away|
|"Dream of Me"||7||—|
|1982||"Don't Ever Leave Me Again"||28||—|
|"Your Bedroom Eyes"||22||—|
|"Today My World Slipped Away"||10||—|
|1983||"Friday Night Feelin'"||49||—||Single only|
|"If You're Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right)"||5||39||If You're Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right)|
|"Way Down Deep"||5||3|
|"I Wonder Where We'd Be Tonight"||10||10|
|1984||"I Can Tell by the Way You Dance (You're Gonna Love Me Tonight)"||1||1||There Is a Season|
|"What Would Your Memories Do"||10||9|
|"Slow Burning Memory"||10||7|
|1985||"Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud, Loud Music)"||20||16||Time Stood Still|
|"I Know the Way to You by Heart"||35||27|
|1986||"It's Only Love Again"||68||—|
|"Was It Just the Wine"||61||—|
|"Time Stood Still"||51||—|
|1987||"Do You Believe Me Now"||4||13||Chiseled in Stone|
|1988||"Set 'Em Up Joe"||1||2|
|"Chiseled in Stone"||6||*|
|1989||"Who You Gonna Blame It On This Time"||2||*|
|"I'm Still Crazy"||1||1||Alone|
|"That Just About Does It"||4||3|
|1990||"Right in the Wrong Direction"||10||6|
|"This Ain't My First Rodeo"||14||19||10 Years of Hits - Newly Recorded|
|"Is It Raining at Your House"||10||8|
|1991||"I Knew My Day Would Come"||64||—||Out of My Heart|
|"A Month of Sundays"||54||71|
|1993||"Back When"||67||—||Nickels, Dimes and Love|
|1989||"That Just About Does It"||Deaton Flanigen|
|1991||"The Garden"||Marius Penczner|
|"A Month of Sundays"||Michael Merriman|
- Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits, p.129-130. ISBN 0-8230-7632-6.
- Whitburn, Joel (1991). The Billboard Book of Number One Country Hits, p.575. ISBN 0-8230-7553-2.
- Singer-Songwriter Vern Gosdin Dies in Nashville at Age 74
- Hines, Geoffrey (1998). "Vern Gosdin". In The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Paul Kingsbury, Editor. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 206–7.