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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

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Hell what I don't know won't hurt me
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Great song!
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Chiseled in stone f---k a makes you wonder
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Pure country
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pkallsen41
Do you believe me now
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The man
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Love this man he was great missed and loved R.I.P
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Love his music! It keeps REAL country music alive!
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Back when Country was Country. Who can compete with someone who's also known as "The Voice"? Vern Gosdin is the real deal.
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I have always loved Vern's music
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Vern Gosdins music spoke volumes & was REAL country and not that music that is pawned off as country, that is a joke! It no longer exists!!
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Vern gosdin
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Pure haunting country...vo i c e will always loved....
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taulbeegeorg i a
Country at its best !!!
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I wish country was still country instead of the sissy f*g s**t people call country today! Rascal f*gs & Kenny pigmy can kiss my country loving a**
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I have always been a Vern Gosdin fan and miss his creating new music.
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phoenixmommy 5 4 8
Hadn't heard of Vern Gosdin till recently and like his music alot.
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Vern gosdin
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I loved ALL his Music and He is truely missed,Mr. Vern Gosdin !!Country Music will not be same !!a true legend!!
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He has the voice
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Vern like George Jones was the real deal they both was truly gifts from God
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He is one of my very favorite and the Voice truly fits him. I wish they would play him on these stations they callcountry!
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I have loved vern all my life, he has always been my hero, I wish I could have met him, there will never be another voice like the voice! !!!
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michaelhalst e a d 1 5
It doesn't get any better.
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wyoung852
Was at plenty of honky tonks in 80s but don't recall the voice. Love him now.
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best country music going
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It's never over
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Hey Pam this is my favorit
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w.corcran
more of Verns music please
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I didn't know he had passed. Thank you for the wonderful memories. ♥️
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ph724
RIP The Voice. Country when it was real!!!
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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
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golfnfishfrk
Vern will always be one my first choice in country music. Should be in the country music hall of fame. RIP Vern
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great sound bill
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audi.trip
Lets here more Vern Godsin music!
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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.
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Certainly one of the greatest voices in country music history.
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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.
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Very under rated.
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GREAT MUSIC
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suzieque1938
I love his style of singing.
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shirley_wint e r s
He is still the best
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Vern is great to work with while meeting him on the road.
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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!!
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he had to hurt alot to sing with such pain--Great voice.
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I'm sure you might hear a few humdingers at the White Bluff Barber Shop, if its still there.
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darlajelling t o n
every one of his songs have a special meaning in the hearts of many
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talvarezshel t e r v o l u n t e e r
beautiful voice..
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talvarezshel t e r v o l u n t e e r
This guy is my favorite...
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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. )
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