Charlie (born in 1927) and Ira (1924-1965) Louvin–their family name was Loudermilk; the legend says they exchanged a name no one could remember for one nobody could spell–were arguably the most influential of all classic country’s “brother acts”. Originally a gospel duet, with their career interrupted twice by Charlie’s military service, they became members of the Grand Old Opry in 1955, and that same year released this lovely waltz, which made it to the top ten.
After performing together for twenty-three years, they split up in 1963 when Ira’s drinking, always a problem, turned into fullblown alcoholism. Charlie went on to have a moderately successful solo career; Ira, after surviving being shot three times by his third wife when he was trying to strangle her, died in a 1965 head-on collision with a drunk driver on a Missouri highway.
Charlie is still alive and performing at eighty-three; he was recently diagnosed with Stage II pancreatic cancer, but is said to be doing well after surgery.
Their songs have been recorded by Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, Emmylou as a soloist, Emmylou and Don Everly, Lonzo and Oscar, Alison Krauss, to name only a few acts.
This one’s my favorite though; a poignant, oldtimey waltz tune sung with piercing sadness and sweetness.