Over the years I have made a few You Tube videos honoring a couple of singers who made not only a large mark on country music, but also mean a great deal to me. Rainy afternoons, and cold nights are perfect for playing around with the possibilities on a computer. There are more projects underway in my files, and all I need are longer days to get everything accomplished. As of late I am playing around with video, so who knows!
But now to the heart of this posting.
Today marks two years since Charlie Louvin died from a most aggressive cancer. In 2011 I posted A Letter From Home about this singer, and one album in particular.
One singer out of Alabama with a desire to do more than pick cotton his whole life. A woman in Hancock, Wisconsin who liked music and picked up the singer’s album at Tempo or Woolworth’s on a Saturday shopping trip. A record player that was kept in pristine condition as it brought so much entertainment to the home. A kid who fell in love with the genre of music that speaks to the central components of life.
They say that singers never die as the music lives on forever.
At the time of Louvin’s death I posted about the chance to not only meet this country legend, but chat with him for several minutes. It happened in Wisconsin Dells , and he was most gracious.
Charlie Louvin took time to talk with me. He did not need to. The fact he did take the time made an impression that lingers.
Using my pen that I had brought along for him to sign my guitar and put “06″ (behind his name), he continued using it to provide autographs for others as they ambled along. As Louvin did so he continued our line of discussion. I had asked him about the formative days when he and his brother, Ira, traveled the country.
Charlie Louvin told me how many a week would end for the famous brothers as they made a mad dash from far-flung places to get back to “The Mother Church of Country Music”, the Ryman Auditorium, and their set for the Opry stage. To be a member of the Opry one had to perform 26 times a year, and was paid $15.00, a far cry from what could be made on the road. Charlie estimated that an act lost on average over $50,000 per year, but he was proud to be a part of the Opry and never complained.
The You Tube video of Louvin singing Where The Roses Never Fade has received more views than any other one I have uploaded. (21,157) In the world of videos that is a drop in the ocean, but I know when it comes to these older singers who are harder to locate on You Tube each video makes a difference.
Then there is Bill Anderson!
There are stories to be told about my impressions of him while I was a boy growing up in Hancock, Wisconsin. I think those should be held for the book, and yes there is one ‘a-coming’.
Meanwhile here is one of the songs that I loved to play on the old record player while growing up. In this video is a picture of both Anderson and his Hancock fan!