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Vern Gosdin

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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
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Albums by
Vern Gosdin

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    10 songs

    On Air

    Till the End

    10 songs

    On Air

    Alone

    10 songs

    On Air

    Chiseled in Stone

    10 songs

    On Air

    Super Hits

    11 songs

    On Air

    10 Years of Greatest Hits: Newly Recorded

    26 songs

    On Air

    40 Years of the Voice, Vol. 1

    10 songs

    On Air

    If You're Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right)

    10 songs

    On Air

    Set 'Em Up

    24 songs

    On Air

    40 Years of the Voice, Vol. 2

    26 songs

    On Air

    40 Years of the Voice, Vol. 3

    25 songs

    On Air

    40 Years of the Voice, Vol. 4

    10 songs

    On Air

    Never My Love

    10 songs

    On Air

    You've Got Somebody

    12 songs

    On Air

    Back in the Swing of Things

    11 songs

    On Air

    There Is a Season

    11 songs

    On Air

    Time Stood Still

    11 songs

    On Air

    24 Karat Heartache

    11 songs

    On Air

    The Gospel Album

    10 songs

    On Air

    Nickels & Dimes & Love

    10 songs

    On Air

    Out of My Heart

    10 songs

    On Air

    If Jesus Comes Tomorrow

    10 songs

    On Air

    Today My World Slipped Away

    8 songs

    On Air

    Rough Around the Edges

    9 songs

    On Air

    Too Far Gone

See All Albums

Top Songs by
Vern Gosdin

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Set 'Em Up Joe
  3.   Chiseled in Stone
  4.   I Can Tell by the Way You Dance (You're Gonna Love Me Tonight)
  5.   Do You Believe Me Now
  6.   That Just About Does It
  7.   Right in the Wrong Direction
  8.   If You're Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right)
  9.   I'm Still Crazy
  10.   Yesterday's Gone
  11.   Slow Burnin' Memory
  12.   Till the End
  13.   Is It Raining at Your House
  14.   This Ain't My First Rodeo
  15.   The Bridge I'm Still Building On
  16.   Out of My Heart
  17.   This Ain't My Rodeo
  18.   A Month of Sundays
  19.   You Never Cross My Mind
  20.   Damn the Fever
  21.   24 Karat Heartache
  22.   Biddy's Reaction
  23.   Was It Just the Wine
  24.   Today My World Slipped Away
  25.   Time Stood Still
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
Vern Gosdin

    On Air

    Tyler Farr: I Am The DJ

    On Air

    Justin Moore: I Am The DJ

    On Air

    Craig Morgan: I Am The DJ

    On Air

    Thompson Square: I Am The DJ

    On Air

    Classic Country

    On Air

    Tim McGraw: DNA

    On Air

    Dive Bar Jukebox

    On Air

    The Country Vault


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