Charlie Louvin is true country music royalty, one of the last surviving members of the generation that dominated Nashville in the years following WWII: Chet Atkins, Bill Anderson, Lefty Frizzell, Roger Miller and Hank Williams, to name a few. In the 1950s and early '60s, Louvin and his brother Ira, born in the Appalachian mountains of northeast Alabama, were regulars at the Grand Ole Opry and on the country charts with songs like "When I Stop Dreaming," "Plenty of Everything But You," "Knoxville Girl" and "I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby." The Louvins parted ways in 1963, and Ira was killed in a 1965 car accident, but they were a profound influence on Gram Parsons, who covered "The Christian Life" and "Cash on the Barrel Head" both with the Byrds and solo, and Emmylou Harris, who scored her first hit with their "If I Could Only Win Your Love." Louvin celebrated his 80th birthday this year by releasing a self-titled album of duets with partners from country's traditional (George Jones, Bobby Bare Sr.) and alternative (Jeff Tweedy, Tift Merritt, Lambchop's Kurt Wagner) wings, and one telling solo number, the wrenching tribute to his late brother, "Ira."
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