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01/26/2011

Charlie Louvin, known for country music harmonies, dies at 83

January 26, 2011 | 11:27 am

 

Charlie Louvin, half of the Louvin Brothers whose harmonies inspired fellow country and pop singers for decades, died Wednesday of complications from pancreatic cancer. He was 83.

Brett Steele, his manager, said the Country Music Hall of Fame singer died at his home in Wartrace, Tenn.

 

Louvin According to the Country Music Hall of Fame, the unique sound of Charlie and his brother, Ira, was highly influential in the history of the genre. The hall inducted them in 2001.

 

Their song "I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby" was No. 1 in 1965. Among their other hits were "When I Stop Dreaming," "Hoping That You're Hoping" and "You're Running Wild."

The brothers decided to disband their duo in 1963. Two years later, Ira died in a Missouri car crash.

Charlie later recalled that differences in personality and Ira's drinking created friction between them, but said they probably would have reunited if Ira had lived.

Charlie Louvin recorded regularly after his brother died. His album "The Longest Train" was released in 1996. His biggest solo hits were "See the Big Man Cry" in 1965 and "I Don't Love You Anymore" in 1964.

The brothers influenced harmony acts from the Everly Brothers onward. Emmylou Harris had a hit with their "If I Could Only Win Your Love" in 1975. The Notting Hillbillies recorded the Louvins' "Weapon of Prayer" in 1990.

Interest in his music resurged as Louvin reached his 80s. In 2007, his first studio album in years, "Charlie Louvin," was released, boasting appearances from artists including George Jones and Elvis Costello, and was nominated for a Grammy as best traditional folk album.

A year later, his "Steps To Heaven" was nominated as best Southern, country or bluegrass gospel album. It was one of two albums he put out in 2008; the other was "Charlie Louvin Sings Murder Ballads and Disaster Songs."

The brothers became members of the Grand Ole Opry in 1955, and Charlie Louvin remained an Opry performer for more than 50 years.

More later at www.latimes.com/obits

-- Associated Press

 

Photo: Charlie Louvin in 2009. Credit: Associated Press

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