Vern Gosdin dies at 74
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
– Singer Vern Gosdin, 74, who was on the country charts from the mid-1970s until the early 1990s and considered one of the best honky tonk singers of his time, died at midnight after suffering a stroke about three weeks ago.
Tammy Wynette once said of Gosdin, who was known as The Voice, that he was "the only other singer who can hold a candle to George Jones."
Gosdin had number 1 hits with I Can Tell By the Way You Dance (You're Gonna Love Me Tonight) in 1983, Set 'Em Up Joe in 1988 and I'm Still Crazy in 1989.
Gosdin was born on Aug 5, 1934 in Woodland, Ala. He learned how to play mandolin while growing up. In the early 1950s, he was part of the Gosdin Family radio show from Birmingham, Ala. By 1960, he moved to California and formed the Golden State Boys with brother Rex. The group was named the Hillmen after mandolinist Chris Hillman, who was in the band and later co-founded the Flying Burrito Brothers and the Desert Rose Band. The brothers later recorded together as The Gosdin Brothers, having a top 40 song, Hangin' On in 1967. They
also played on the first solo album with Gene Clark in 1967 after he left The Byrds, "Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers."
The Gosdin brothers quit by 1972 and worked day jobs in Atlanta.
Vern Gosdin gave it another shot and convinced friend Emmylou Harris to head to Nashville for a demo session. Gosdin soon signed with Elektra. He first charted in his solo career in 1976 with Hangin' On, which would go on to be the first of 41 songs to hit the Billboard charts. Gosdin enjoyed a hit, Till the End, with then unknown Janie Frickie. He shifted labels, going to Ovation, AMI and Compleat. After Compleat went bankrupt, Gosdin signed with Columbia in 1987. He won the Country Music Association song of the year in 1989 for Chiseled in Stone, a co-write with frequent partner Max D. Barnes.
CD reviews for Vern Gosdin
Vern Gosdin has had an awful lot of hits (19 in the Top Ten alone) for someone whose name recognition is probably very low. He has never been anything other than 100-percent pure country, which means his chances of having more hits aren't as good as they ought to be. His phrasing and type of material have pretty much kept Gosdin in George Jones' big shadow, which isn't such a bad place to be.
In the past, Gosdin could at times have been mistaken for Jones, but his voice isnot as deep here. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk
When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Not playing the hit proves no problem for Bingham
Ryan Bingham may always end up being best known for collaborating with T Bone Burnett on the soundtrack for the 2009 film starring Jeff Bridges, particularly "The Weary Kind." That would not be a surprise given that he won a Grammy and Oscar for the song.
One would, therefore, think that "The Weary Kind" would be one of those... »»»
Concert Review: Abbott brings the joy - even with "Front Row Seat"
To say that the Josh Abbott Band's "Front Row Seat" is an easy listen, especially in concert, would be a tremendous understatement. The Texas country singer released a five-act recording about the development, joy and ultimate dissolution of his marriage last fall.
Not exactly easy subject matter, but Abbott managed to bring more than a... »»»
Country News Digest
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
Janet Bean and Catherine Irwin have been together as Freakwater for over a quarter of a century, which gives their creative pairing at least the outward appearance of a marriage. And while Bean and Irwin haven't even lived in the same city for the entirety of Freakwater's existence,... »»»
Reaching her early twenties, Sierra Hull found herself beset by the same kinds of emotional angst and vulnerability that most of experience coming face-to-face with the challenges of life stretching out ahead. In her case, though, introduction to adulthood came at the age of 16 when she recorded her first... »»»
The Grascals are a well-established collection of players, featuring a six-piece mix of some of the most talented musicians in bluegrass. What happens when there's some turnover in the lineup of an established band? It either gets better or goes home. With... »»»
Down to My Last Bad Habit
At this point in his career, Vince Gill could just as well have entitled this "Tried and True." He's not chasing trends - pop country or bro country - of chart-geared songs. He's too old for that, and at this point anyway, Gill knows what works for him. »»»
Hymns That Are Important To Us
There have been many artists throughout the year who've tried their hand at offering up songs for the faithful, mining their past for the hymns of old. Yet. it's the rare few who've delivered the emotional punch that Joey + Rory manage. With Joey Feek battling the final stages of cancer and choosing to forego treatment, the couple took advantage of Joey's good days to head into the studio to craft this collection of time-honored hymns that resonates with deep emotion. »»»