Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame member Charlie Louvin lost his battle with pancreatic cancer yesterday, January 26. Louvin had been a member of the Opry since 1955 and a Hall of Fame member since 2001. Louvin was 83 years old. Funeral arrangements are not finalized at this time, but will be posted on opry.com when they are made available.
Born Charlie Elzer Loudermilk in 1927, he grew up in the Sand Mountain region of Alabama and worked beside his brother Ira in the cotton mills and fields. As teenagers, they developed a harmonic singing style which would take them from a tiny radio station in Chattanooga to the top of the 1950s country charts. The duo enjoyed success with now-classics including “I Don’t Believe You’ve Met My Baby,” “When I Stop Dreaming,” and “You’re Running Wild” in addition to composing hundreds and hundreds of other songs.
After the duo disbanded in 1963 and brother Ira was killed in a 1965 automobile accident, Louvin had solo success with hits such as “I Don’t Love You Anymore” and “See the Big Man Cry.”
Louvin continued recording and making live performances through 2010, all the while being cited as a musical influence by an array of successful artists. Livin’, Lovin’, Losin’: The Songs of the Louvin Brothers featured Charlie, as well as many of those the duo influenced, paying tribute to the Hall of Famers. The project won a Grammy for Best Country Album in 2004.