Wednesday, January 26, 2011

R.I.P. - Charlie Louvin


Charlie Louvin, half of the famed country duo The Louvin Brothers, died early this morning of complications from pancreatic cancer at the age of 83.

Charlie Louvin was born Charles Elzer Loudermilk (J.D. is his cousin) in Henager, Alabama in 1927, three years after his brother Ira. Charlie and Ira worked in the fields on their family's farm and began singing together as teenagers. Their musical partnership ended in 1963 in no small part due to Ira's excessive drinking which made him unpredictable and often violent. Ironically, Ira was struck and killed by a drunk driver in 1965, not long after a warrant was issued for his own arrest on a DUI charge.

Charlie kept performing and releasing solo albums, including a quartet of highly acclaimed albums on the Tompkins Square label during the 2000s. Charlie kept making music til very near the end of his life; his last album, The Battle Rages On, was released on True North Records on November 9, 2010.

The Louvin Brothers' Christmas music has been a staple of my holiday mixes for years, and their music has never been far from my turntable, CD player or computer. Charlie will be missed.

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