Charlie Louvin

Charlie Louvin

As half of the Louvin Brothers, Charlie Louvin (born Charlie Elzer Loudermilk on July 7, 1927) was one of the most influential musicians of the '40s and '50s; the Louvins defined close harmony duet singing for several generations of country fans. After the Louvins disbanded in 1963, Charlie began a solo career, recording for Capitol Records until 1972. During that time, he had two Top Ten hits -- "I Don't Love You Anymore" (number four, 1964) and "See the Big Man Cry" (number seven, 1965) -- as well as a series of minor hits. Louvin continued to perform and record for a variety of labels well into the '90s. The eponymous album Charlie Louvin was released in 2007 on the Tompkins Square label and featured a cast of characters including George Jones, Elvis Costello, Marty Stuart, Tom T. Hall, and Jeff Tweedy. It was nominated for a Grammy Award the following year, thus prompting Louvin to continue releasing new material. Steps to Heaven, a collection of traditional gospel tunes, arrived in 2008, followed two months later by the tragedy-themed Charlie Louvin Sings Murder Ballads and Disaster Songs. Two albums were released in 2010: The Battles Rage On, produced by Mitchell Brown and featuring songs about war and redemption; and Hickory Wind, a live set recorded at City Auditorium in Waycross, GA in 2009. Louvin was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the summer of 2010 and passed away Jan. 26, 2011.~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi