RIP: Charlie Louvin, 1927-2011

Charlie Louvin enjoyed a long and successful career as one of the premier singers in the world of country music. He racked up a batch of Top 10 hits, first as half of the pioneering duo the Louvin Brothers and – after the death of his brother Ira in an automobile accident – as a solo performer, too.

He was a member of the Grand Ole Opry for more than a half century.

I had the great pleasure of interviewing Charlie Louvin back in 2003, as he was prepping for a show with local favorites the Bob Bates Band, MotherJudge & the Urban Holiness Society and Bates & Barr. The show was at Valentine’s Music Hall in Albany. Louvin was 76 years old, and he’d just wrapped up a tour with Cake and Cheap Trick.

At the time, I asked Louvin if he was feeling his own mortality. He said, “Well, my father passed away at the age of 84, and my mom passed away at age 96.” Then he smiled and added, “Let’s hope I take after mama’s side of the family.”

Charlie Louvin died today at his home in Tennessee. He was 83 years old.

Charlie Louvin’s obituary at The New York Times.

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