Who was Vern Gosdin?
Vern Gosdin was an American country music singer and songwriter who had 19 top-10 hits from 1977 to 1990. He was known as “The Voice” for his rich and expressive baritone. He sang songs about heartbreak, loneliness, and love, such as “Chiseled in Stone”, “Set ‘Em Up Joe”, and “I’m Still Crazy”. He was influenced by the Louvin Brothers, the Blue Sky Boys, and George Jones. He also collaborated with Emmylou Harris, Janie Frickie, and Alison Krauss.
How did Vern Gosdin die?
Vern Gosdin died on April 28, 2009, at the age of 74, in a Nashville hospital. He had suffered a stroke a few weeks earlier and was under hospice care. His death was announced by his friend and fellow singer, Tommy Montoya, on Instagram. He was survived by his daughter, Sidney, and his son, Kai.
What was Vern Gosdin’s career like?
Vern Gosdin started his musical career as a gospel singer in his native Alabama, where he was born on August 5, 1934. He moved to California in the 1960s and formed a bluegrass band with his brother, Rex, called the Gosdin Brothers. They recorded with Gene Clark, a former member of the Byrds, and had a minor hit with “Hangin’ On” in 1967. Gosdin then retired from music and ran a glass company in Georgia for a decade.
He returned to music in 1976 and signed with Elektra Records. He had his first solo hit with a remake of “Hangin’ On”, featuring Emmylou Harris. He followed it with “Yesterday’s Gone”, a duet with Harris, and “Till the End”, a duet with Janie Frickie. He switched to Ovation Records in 1981 and had a top-10 hit with “Dream of Me”. He then moved to A.M.I. Records and scored another top-10 hit with “Today My World Slipped Away” in 1982.
He reached his peak of success in the late 1980s, when he signed with Columbia Records. He released his most acclaimed album, Chiseled in Stone, in 1988, which won the Country Music Association award for album of the year. The title track, co-written by Gosdin and Max D. Barnes, also won the CMA award for song of the year. It was a poignant ballad about a man who learns the true meaning of loneliness from an old man who lost his wife. Gosdin also had two number-one hits with “I Can Tell By the Way You Dance (You’re Gonna Love Me Tonight)” and “Set ‘Em Up Joe”, a tribute to George Jones.
Gosdin continued to record and perform in the 1990s, releasing albums such as Alone, Out of My Heart, and The Voice. He also collaborated with Alison Krauss, who sang harmony vocals on his 1994 single, “Back When”. He retired from music in 2000 and moved to Nashville, where he lived until his death.
What is Vern Gosdin’s legacy?
Vern Gosdin is widely regarded as one of the finest singers and songwriters in country music history. He influenced many artists, such as George Strait, Alan Jackson, Josh Turner, and Blake Shelton. He was praised by his peers, such as Tammy Wynette, who called him “the only other singer who can hold a candle to George Jones”, and Randy Travis, who said he was “one of the greatest singers ever to sing a country song”. He was also loved by his fans, who started a petition to get him inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Vern Gosdin’s music lives on through his recordings, which have been reissued and remastered over the years. He also left behind a legacy of songs that capture the emotions and experiences of ordinary people. He was a master of honky-tonk, a genre that blends traditional country with rock and roll. He was a storyteller, a poet, and a voice of the people. He was Vern Gosdin, the Voice.