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Vern Gosdin

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 new 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. ~ James Manheim, Rovi
full bio

Comments

michaelhalst e a d 1 5
It doesn't get any better.
wyoung852
Was at plenty of honky tonks in 80s but don't recall the voice. Love him now.
best country music going
It's never over
Hey Pam this is my favorit
w.corcran
more of Verns music please
I didn't know he had passed. Thank you for the wonderful memories. ♥️
ph724
RIP The Voice. Country when it was real!!!
Never will there be another vern Gordon he sings with raw emotion from the heart. Gives me chills love you vern and miss you oh so much now he sings with the angels
golfnfishfrk
Vern will always be one my first choice in country music. Should be in the country music hall of fame. RIP Vern
great sound bill
audi.trip
Lets here more Vern Godsin music!
audi.trip
One of the best & most soulful country musicians ever - equal with Merle Haggard & George Jones. So thankful for musicians & song writers that give us all the soul only they can give us. God Bless & R.I,P.
Certainly one of the greatest voices in country music history.
I agree with snormaO.He must have had a lot of pain in him ,it came out in most of the songs he wrote & sang.No one could put it out there like Vern R.I.P.
Very under rated.
GREAT MUSIC
suzieque1938
I love his style of singing.
shirley_wint e r s
He is still the best
Vern is great to work with while meeting him on the road.
nunyabiz2
Heard it said once that Vern had a voice that would hurt you, haunt you, and heal you!! That to me is why he was known as The Voice. He's the most underrated singer/ songwriter country music has ever known!! R. I. P. Vern! God Bless You!!
he had to hurt alot to sing with such pain--Great voice.
I'm sure you might hear a few humdingers at the White Bluff Barber Shop, if its still there.
darlajelling t o n
every one of his songs have a special meaning in the hearts of many
talvarezshel t e r v o l u n t e e r
beautiful voice..
talvarezshel t e r v o l u n t e e r
This guy is my favorite...
I've got to thank Rhubarb Jones for bringing Verne 's music to me when he was a DJ in Montgomery, Al. . Been a fan ever since. Never been a more pure voice in country music. ( and thanks Pandora for keeping it
available to us. )
I knew he was the voice the first time I heard him. Gone but never forgotten.
is he deid
such a beautiful voice, lyrics are so endearing to my heart. I'm sorry i don't have the ability to see him perform in person, however, his voice will forever live on. I especially love do you believe me now
All of Vern Gosdin's songs are good , but Chiseled in stone has a special meaning to me!!
'The Voice' says it all. Awesome and timeless.
great voice, and great music can not quit liking this music
mkc1011
Heard the Voice at the Cracker Barrel on Charlotte and looked up, and sho'nuff it was Vern paying for his breakfast, years ago....
No matter which singer i listen to, i always come back to Vern
Gosdin. It's like he is drawing me back year after year. what a talent and a gift he was .
johnthepapa
I always liked a song Vern Gosdin did called Yesterdays Gone but I never hear this song or see it for sale. What's up?
vern is the man THE VOICE !!!!
shirley_wint e r s
VERN GOSDEN IS STILL NUMBER ONE FOR ME,
selsablue200 2
He died a while ago ... much to everyones sorrow.....i cried
ables.la
I really enjoy listen to Vern's music and voice. Where is he today?
An absolute great voice he will never be replaced!!!! Mr Gosden, play on I can't wait till hear you live again.
don.rucinski
An absolutely pure voice, a pleasure to listen to.
I love his voice and his choice of songs.
cazor2countr y
He is a Great Singer and a good performer. I love is singing! Ted
5oclockhere
I', listening to him tonight at 1:14 a.m. He's great.
shirley1680
Love Vern Gosdin!
LIKE OLE VERN
davidtick62
he was the greatest.his voice was beautful,i never get tired of hearing hi music
gunnyxyz167
Vern was one of the greatest, along with George Jones, Loretta Lynn and so on. We country purist are really going to miss him and his music. He never recorded anythintg I didn't like. Rest in peace my friend. Charlie Anderson
That is true, there will never be another Vern!! As George Jones sings "who's gonna fill their shoes" it is becoming apparent that nobody can fill their shoes. We are loosing a battle on listening to good country music. I miss "the voice"
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