Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Vern Gosdin Dies at 74

Country singer Vern Gosdin, whose hit songs include classics like “Chiseled In Stone,” “Do You Believe Me Now” and “Set ‘em Up Joe,” died last night (4/28) in a Nashville hospital. He was 74. He had recently suffered a stroke.

Gosdin grew up in rural Woodland, Alabama, and, after a start in bluegrass on the west coast, forming the Gosdin Brothers with his brothers Rex and Ray. The band was there for the birth of country rock, and Gosdin went on to play with The Byrds’ Chris Hillman and Gene Clark.

Moving to Nashville in the late ‘70s, Gosdin quickly grew into one of country music’s very best honky tonk singers. Tammy Wynette referred to him as “the only other singer who can hold a candle to George Jones,” and he acquired the nickname, “The Voice.” In 1989, his recording of “Chiseled in Stone” was named the Country Music Association’s Song of the Year. His "I Can Tell By The Way You Dance," and "Way Down Deep" were both number one hits the following year.