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The Louvin Brothers
The Louvin Brothers
were an American musical duo composed of brothers Ira and Charlie Louvin
Charlie Louvin
(Lonnie Loudermilk (April 21, 1924 – June 20, 1965) and Charlie Elzer Loudermilk (July 7, 1927– January 26, 2011). The brothers are cousins to John D. Loudermilk, a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member. The brothers wrote and performed secular country music, as well as fire and brimstone Gospel music. Ira played virtuoso mandolin and generally sang lead vocal in the tenor range, while Charlie played rhythm guitar and offered supporting vocals in a lower pitch. They helped popularize the vocal technique of close harmony in country and country-rock.[1] After becoming regulars at the Grand Ole Opry
Grand Ole Opry
and scoring a string of hit singles in the late 1950s and early '60s, the Louvin Brothers broke up in 1963 due in large part to Charlie growing tired of Ira's addictions and reckless behavior. Ira died in a traffic accident in 1965. They were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame
Country Music Hall of Fame
in 2001, and Charlie died of cancer in 2011.

Contents

1 Background 2 Legacy

2.1 Satan is Real album

3 Partial discography 4 Charted singles 5 References 6 External links

Background[edit] The brothers adopted the name Louvin Brothers in the 1940s as they began their career in gospel music. Their first foray into secular music was the minor hit "The Get Acquainted Waltz", recorded with Chet Atkins. Other hits included "Cash on the Barrelhead" and "When I Stop Dreaming". They joined the Grand Ole Opry
Grand Ole Opry
in 1955 and stayed there until breaking up in 1963.[2] Their songs were heavily influenced by their Baptist
Baptist
faith and warned against sin.[citation needed] Nevertheless, Ira Louvin was notorious for his drinking, womanizing, and volcanic temper.[3] He was married four times; his third wife Faye shot him four times in the chest and twice in the hand after he allegedly tried to strangle her with a telephone cord [4] Although seriously injured, he survived. (Faye is reported to have said, "if the bastard don't die I'll shoot him again!"). When performing and drinking, Ira would sometimes become angry enough on stage to smash his mandolin when he was unable to tune it, and - when sober - glue it back together. His style was heavily influenced by Bill Monroe, and his brother Charlie Monroe, who had a tempestuous relationship with Ira, considered him one of the top mandolin players in Nashville [5] In his New York Times review of Charlie's biography Satan Is Real, Alex Abramovich said, " Ira Louvin was a full head taller than his younger brother, played the mandolin like Bill Monroe
Bill Monroe
and sang in an impossibly high, tense, quivering tenor. Charlie strummed a guitar, grinned like a vaudevillian and handled the bottom register. But every so often, in the middle of a song, some hidden signal flashed and the brothers switched places — with Ira swooping down from the heights, and Charlie angling upward — and even the most careful listeners would lose track of which man was carrying the lead. This was more than close-harmony singing; each instance was an act of transubstantiation."[6] In 1963, fed up with Ira's drinking and abusive behavior, Charlie started a solo career,[3] and Ira also went on his own. Ira died on June 20, 1965, at the age of 41. He and his fourth wife, Anne Young, were on the way home from a performance in Kansas City when they came to a section of construction on Highway 70 outside of Williamsburg, Missouri where traffic had been reduced down to one lane. A drunken driver struck their car head-on, and both Ira and Anne were killed instantly.[7] At the time, a warrant for Ira's arrest had been issued on a DUI
DUI
charge. Charlie died of pancreatic cancer on January 26, 2011 at age 83. Legacy[edit] Country-rock band The Byrds
The Byrds
recorded the Louvin-penned "The Christian Life" for their 1968 release Sweetheart of the Rodeo.[2] In 2001, The Louvin Brothers
The Louvin Brothers
were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.[8] The tribute CD Livin', Lovin', Losin': Songs of the Louvin Brothers, produced by Carl Jackson and Kathy Louvin and released in 2003, won the 2004 Grammy Award
Grammy Award
for Best Country Album. Satan is Real album[edit] Main article: Satan Is Real

Satan Is Real
Satan Is Real
album cover

Although the brothers are still remembered today for their musical talent, they are also remembered for the unusual cover used for their 1959 album, Satan Is Real. Designed by Ira Louvin, the cover features the brothers standing in a rock quarry in front of a 12-foot-tall (3.7 m) plywood rendition of the Devil
Devil
as several hidden tires soaked in kerosene burn behind them as fire and brimstone.[9] While some reviewers count this as being one of the "greatest iconic album covers of all time",[10] the cover can also be found today on several Web sites celebrating unusual or bizarre album covers. The cover has also become an Internet meme
Internet meme
on a number of Web sites such as Fark.com, where it has been posted in discussion threads as an example of religious views of the era.[11] The opening bars of the album's title track "Satan Is Real" can be heard at the beginning of Hank Williams
Hank Williams
III's "Medley: Straight to Hell / Satan Is Real", on his Straight to Hell album of 2006. It is also excerpted in Will Ferrell's 2009 one-man Broadway show, You're Welcome America. A Final Night With George W Bush. Partial discography[edit]

1956: The Louvin Brothers
The Louvin Brothers
(MGM) 1956: Tragic Songs of Life (Capitol)[3] 1957: Nearer My God to Thee (Capitol) 1958: Ira and Charlie (Capitol) 1958: The Family Who Prays (Capitol) 1958: Country Love Ballads (Capitol) 1959: Satan Is Real
Satan Is Real
(Capitol) 1960: My Baby's Gone (Capitol) 1960: A Tribute to the Delmore Brothers (Capitol) 1961: Encore (Capitol) 1961: Christmas with the Louvin Brothers (Capitol) 1962: The Weapon of Prayer (Capitol) 1963: Keep Your Eyes on Jesus (Capitol) 1964: The Louvin Brothers
The Louvin Brothers
Sing and Play Their Current Hits (Capitol) 1965: Thank God for My Christian Home (Capitol) 1966: Ira and Charles (Hilltop) 1967: Two Different Worlds (Capitol) 1967: The Great Roy Acuff
Roy Acuff
Songs (Capitol) 1968: Country Heart and Soul (Capitol) 1973: The Great Gospel Singing of The Louvin Brothers
The Louvin Brothers
(Capitol) 1975: Live at New River Ranch (Copper Creek) 1976: I Don't Believe You Met My Baby (Hilltop) 1978: Songs That Tell a Story (Rounder) 1990: Early MGM Recordings (Rounder) 1992: Close Harmony ( Bear Family
Bear Family
Records) 1995: Greatest Hits (Capitol) 1995: When I Stop Dreaming: The Best of the Louvin Brothers (Razor & Tie) 2006: The Essential Louvin Brothers 1955–1964: My Baby's Gone (Raven)

Charted singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Positions

US Country[12]

1955 "When I Stop Dreaming" 8

1956 "I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby" 1

"Hoping That You're Hoping" 7

"You're Running Wild" 7

"Cash on the Barrelhead"A 7

1957 "Don't Laugh" 11

"Plenty of Everything but You" 14

1958 "My Baby's Gone" 9

1959 "The Knoxville Girl" 19

1961 "I Love You Best of All" 12

"How's the World Treating You" 26

1962 "Must You Throw Dirt in My Face" 21

AB-side to "You're Running Wild".

References[edit]

^ Johnson, Jon (October 2003). "Livin' Lovin' Losin' the Louvin's Way". Country Standard Time. Retrieved January 22, 2010.  ^ a b Wolfe, Charles K. (1996). In Close Harmony: The Story of the Louvin Brothers. Univ. Press of Mississippi. ISBN 0-87805-892-3.  ^ a b c Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (March 23, 2010). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-7893-2074-2.  ^ "'Opry' Singer Star Shot; Wife Jailed". The Miami Herald. February 21, 1963. Retrieved March 27, 2011.  ^ Louvin, Charlie (2012). Satan is Real.  ^ Abramovich, Alex (February 17, 2012). "'Satan Is Real,' the Story of the Louvin Brothers". The New York Times.  ^ Strauss, Neil (November 28, 1996). "The Pop Life". New York Times. Retrieved January 22, 2010.  ^ Country Music Hall of Fame
Country Music Hall of Fame
entry for The Louvin Brothers. Archived January 30, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved January 21, 2010. ^ Stein, Lorin (2006-06-06). "KtB – Satan is Real". Killingthebuddha.com. Retrieved 2012-06-24.  ^ "MP3 Blog, Music Blog » The Louvin Brothers :: Satan Is Real". Aquarium Drunkard. 2006-12-13. Retrieved 2012-06-24.  ^ "Example of meme-posting of album cover on Fark.com". Fark.com. November 17, 2008. Retrieved November 17, 2008.  ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 246. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. 

External links[edit]

Official website Charlie Louvin
Charlie Louvin
interview – July 2010, awaitngtheflood.com Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville – report on Charlie Louvin's 80th birthday, 2007 State of Mind – A Word with Charlie Louvin
Charlie Louvin
– January 2009 Livin' Lovin' Losin' the Louvin Way. Retrieved January 22, 2010. Charlie's life from 1927 to the present on Raised Country!

v t e

Members of the Grand Ole Opry

Roy Acuff Trace Adkins David "Stringbean" Akeman Bill Anderson Jack Anglin Eddy Arnold Ernest Ashworth Chet Atkins DeFord Bailey Bobby Bare Bashful Brother Oswald Humphrey Bate Dierks Bentley Binkley Brothers' Dixie Clodhoppers Clint Black Margie Bowes Rod Brasfield Garth Brooks Jim Ed Brown The Browns Carl Butler and Pearl Archie Campbell Bill Carlisle Martha Carson The Carter Sisters Maybelle Carter Johnny Cash June Carter Cash Roy Clark Terri Clark Zeke Clements Patsy Cline Jerry Clower John Conlee Stoney Cooper Wilma Lee Cooper Cowboy Copas Dailey & Vincent Charlie Daniels Skeeter Davis The Delmore Brothers The DeZurik Sisters Diamond Rio Little Jimmy Dickens Joe Diffie Danny Dill Jimmy Driftwood Roy Drusky The Duke of Paducah Holly Dunn The Everly Brothers Lester Flatt Red Foley Curly Fox Lefty Frizzell Larry Gatlin Crystal Gayle Don Gibson Vince Gill Billy Grammer Jack Greene The Gully Jumpers Theron Hale Tom T. Hall George Hamilton IV Sid Harkreader Emmylou Harris Hawkshaw Hawkins George D. Hay Hoot Hester Goldie Hill David Houston Jan Howard Ferlin Husky Alan Jackson Stonewall Jackson Sonny James Chris Janson Norma Jean Jim & Jesse Johnnie & Jack George Jones Grandpa Jones The Jordanaires Doug Kershaw Hal Ketchum Bradley Kincaid Pee Wee King Alison Krauss Little Big Town Hank Locklin Lonzo and Oscar Bobby Lord The Louvin Brothers Charlie Louvin Ira Louvin Patty Loveless Bob Luman Loretta Lynn Uncle Dave Macon Rose Maddox Barbara Mandrell Kerry Marx Martina McBride Del McCoury Mel McDaniel Reba McEntire McGee Brothers Jesse McReynolds Ronnie Milsap Bill Monroe Montgomery Gentry Craig Morgan George Morgan Lorrie Morgan Moon Mullican Willie Nelson Jimmy C. Newman The Oak Ridge Boys Old Crow Medicine Show Osborne Brothers Brad Paisley Dolly Parton Johnny Paycheck Minnie Pearl Stu Phillips Webb Pierce Ray Pillow Ray Price Charley Pride Jeanne Pruett Rascal Flatts Del Reeves Jim Reeves Riders in the Sky Tex Ritter Marty Robbins Darius Rucker Johnny Russell Rusty and Doug Earl Scruggs Jeannie Seely Blake Shelton Ricky Van Shelton Jean Shepard Ricky Skaggs Mississippi Slim Carl Smith Connie Smith Fiddlin' Arthur Smith Mike Snider Hank Snow Red Sovine Ralph Stanley Marty Stuart Texas Ruby B. J. Thomas Uncle Jimmy Thompson Mel Tillis Pam Tillis Tompall & the Glaser Brothers Randy Travis Travis Tritt Ernest Tubb Justin Tubb Josh Turner Carrie Underwood Keith Urban Leroy Van Dyke Porter Wagoner Billy Walker Charlie Walker Steve Wariner Kitty Wells Dottie West The Whites Slim Whitman The Wilburn Brothers Don Williams Hank Williams Boxcar Willie The Willis Brothers Chubby Wise Del Wood Marion Worth Johnnie Wright Tammy Wynette Trisha Yearwood Chris Young Faron Young

v t e

Country Music Hall of Fame
Country Music Hall of Fame
2000s

Charley Pride
Charley Pride
(2000) Faron Young
Faron Young
(2000) Bill Anderson (2001) The Delmore Brothers (2001) The Everly Brothers
The Everly Brothers
(2001) Don Gibson
Don Gibson
(2001) Homer and Jethro
Homer and Jethro
(2001) Waylon Jennings
Waylon Jennings
(2001) The Jordanaires
The Jordanaires
(2001) Don Law (2001) The Louvin Brothers
The Louvin Brothers
(2001) Ken Nelson (2001) Sam Phillips
Sam Phillips
(2001) Webb Pierce
Webb Pierce
(2001) Bill Carlisle
Bill Carlisle
(2002) Porter Wagoner
Porter Wagoner
(2002) Floyd Cramer
Floyd Cramer
(2003) Carl Smith (2003) Jim Foglesong (2004) Kris Kristofferson
Kris Kristofferson
(2004) Alabama (2005) DeFord Bailey
DeFord Bailey
(2005) Glen Campbell
Glen Campbell
(2005) Harold Bradley (2006) Sonny James
Sonny James
(2006) George Strait
George Strait
(2006) Ralph Emery (2007) Vince Gill
Vince Gill
(2007) Mel Tillis
Mel Tillis
(2007) Tom T. Hall
Tom T. Hall
(2008) Emmylou Harris
Emmylou Harris
(2008) The Statler Brothers (2008) Ernest Stoneman
Ernest Stoneman
(2008) Roy Clark
Roy Clark
(2009) Barbara Mandrell
Barbara Mandrell
(2009) Charlie McCoy
Charlie McCoy
(2009)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 121022099 LCCN: n88660274 ISNI: 0000 0000 8189 7104 GND: 10298031-7 BNF: cb13904693k (data) MusicBrainz: 8b604d4b-1170-4225

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