Louvin Brothers

100 Greatest Men: #26. Roy Acuff

June 1, 2014 // 3 Comments

100 Greatest Men: The Complete List Roy Acuff is responsible for not only some of the genre’s foundational recordings, but for helping to put Nashville on the map as a star of the Grand Ole Opry, a music publishing tycoon, and even a candidate for governor of Tennessee. Not bad for a middle child from rural Tennessee, the son of a prominent family from the small town of Maynardville.  Though both of his parents were skilled musicians, his passion was baseball, and he got as far as minor league tryouts before sunstroke ended his budding career.   He chose to hone his skills with the fiddle, and began performing around the south as part of a touring medicine show.  Incorporating the southern gospel song, “Great Speckled Bird”, into his performances caught the attention of the record companies.   By the end of the thirties, he had several hits and a Grand Ole Read More

Grammy Flashback: Best Country Album

January 17, 2009 // 23 Comments

A look back at the previous winners and nominees of the Best Country Album Grammy, updated to include the 2009 contenders. The Grammys have been doing better in the country categories since they reintroduced the Best Country Album category in 1995, which had only been in existence for two years in the 1960s. Prior to 1995, albums and singles were both eligible in the vocalist categories, so full albums would compete against single tracks in Best Male Country Vocal Performance,  for example. Looking over the history of this fairly young category, you can see trends emerge, with certain acts clearly being favorites of NARAS. You see the same trend with the CMAs, just with different people. What is clear with the Grammys is that radio and retail success will only carry you so far. For awards that are supposed to be based on artistic merit, that’s how it should be. Read More

Charlie Louvin, Sings Murder Ballads and Disaster Songs

December 14, 2008 // 6 Comments

Charlie Louvin Sings Murder Ballads and Disaster Songs This has been quite the year for the historically themed country album.   Two of the year’s best releases have come from veteran singers exploring their roots, with Kathy Mattea collecting mining songs on Coal and Patty Loveless collecting traditional country songs on Sleepless Nights.     The final month of 2008 has brought a third set of this nature, and it’s worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as those two predecessors. As part of The Louvin Brothers and then on his own, Charlie Louvin has been a cornerstone of American music, influencing generations of performers while still maintaining his own vitality.   Now in his eighties, his voice is rough and shopworn, with contours only producible by time.     His weathered warbling is a comfortable fit for the assortment of old tragedy songs he has collected on his new release, Charlie Louvin Sings Murder Read More