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Vern Gosdin

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Genre:Pop, Country
Rank: history »
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Songs:58
Albums:36

Most popular songs

# Song LSI Rank
1I'll Fly Away lyrics
2Singer of Sad Songs lyrics
3The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face lyrics
4Too Long Gone lyrics
5Rainbow And Roses lyrics
6We Must Have Been Out of Our Minds lyrics
7Set 'Em Up Joe lyrics
8Love is Like an Echo lyrics
9Bury Me in a Jukebox lyrics
10Is It Raining at Your House lyrics

Most popular albums

# Album LSI Rank
1The Voice Box, Vol. 1 [2015]
240 Years of the Voice [2008]
3Very Best of the Voice [2005]
4Back in the Swing of Things [2004]
5Time Stood Still [Music Mill] [1998]
6Voice [Beckett & Tharp] [1998]
7Silver Eagle Cross Country Presents Live: Vern Gos [1997]
824 Karat Heartache [Music Mill] [1997]
9Warning: Contains Country Music (The Great Ballads [1996]
10The Truly Great Hits [Music Mill] [1995]

Biography

As country music swung back toward traditional styles in the
1980s, an inheritor of the soulful honky tonk style of Lefty Frizzell
and Merle Haggard rose to the top of the business and notched hit
after barroom hit. Sometimes he was known simply as "The Voice."
Born in Woodland, AL, Vern Gosdin idolized the Louvin Brothers and
the Blue Sky Boys as a young man and sang in a gospel quartet
called the Gosdin Brothers. When he was in his late teens, his family
moved to Birmingham and began hosting the Gosdin Family Gospel
Show on a local radio station. Gosdin and his brother, Rex, moved
to Long Beach, CA, in 1961. They began performing bluegrass music
in the milieu that gave birth to country-rock, joining a group called
the Golden State Boys that evolved into the Hillmen, featuring future
Byrds member Chris Hillman. Vern and Rex teamed up to sing
country music as the Gosdin Brothers once again, had a Top 40
country hit in 1967 with "Hangin' On," and opened for the Byrds
on occasion.

Gosdin moved to Atlanta in 1972, raising a family and running a
retail shop. But he never gave up on music completely. He
performed at local clubs and began to gravitate toward Nashville,
where Emmylou Harris, a friend of Gosdin's from his California
days, was laying the foundation for a neo-traditionalist style of
country music. Around 1976 Gosdin and Harris cut a demo single
consisting of "Hangin' On" backed with a newly written song,
"Yesterday's Gone." The demo got Gosdin signed to the Elektra
label, and both songs cracked the country Top 20. In the late '70s
he notched several major hits, including "Till the End" (with Janie
Fricke), "Mother Country Music," and a remake of the Association's
"Never My Love."

In 1980, after the demise of Elektra's country division, Gosdin
quickly moved through several contracts and landed with the
independent Nashville label Compleat. He made the Top Ten
consistently in the early '80s, really hitting his stride when he
teamed with Max D. Barnes as a songwriting collaborator. The
pair specialized in songs of cheating and barroom romance,
often delivering an over-the-top emotionalism that got Gosdin
compared to the ultimate legend of honky tonk vocals, George
Jones. In 1983, Gosdin had two Top Five hits — "If You're
Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right)" and "Way Down Deep."
The following year he had his first number-one single with
"I Can Tell by the Way You Dance (You're Gonna Love Me
Tonight)" and had two additional Top Ten hits. His career hit
a lull in the mid-'80s, but in 1987, with the traditionalist
movement in full swing and Warner Bros. artist Randy
Travis roosting at the top of the charts, he was tapped by the
Columbia label. He bounced back into the Top Ten that year
with the tortured "Do You Believe Me Now," and in 1988 he hit
number one once again with the perennially popular Ernest
Tubb tribute "Set 'Em Up Joe." Gosdin's "Chiseled in Stone,"
co-written with Barnes, won the Country Music Association's
Song of the Year award in 1989. His 1989 album Alone was
a rarity: a concept album in a traditional country style. It
chronicled the dissolution of Gosdin's marriage. Gosdin's
popularity declined as rock-influenced country styles surged
forward in the 1990s, but he continued to record on small
labels and never abandoned the pure country vocalism he had
cultivated for so long.

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