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It is not overstating the case to cite Charlie Louvin as a living legend. As a one-time partner in the Louvin Brothers with his late brother Ira, an inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry, and a performer who has been entertaining country, gospel and rock audiences for well over five decades, Louvin has nothing left to prove to anybody. And yet, the 81-year-old icon continues to tour about a third of the year, a seemingly grueling road schedule for a man who clocks in about a decade and a half past normal retirement age.   ...
Country music has often seemed like a family business since its earliest days. The Carter Family, the Delmore Brothers, the Wilburn Brothers, Jim and Jesse, Bill and Charlie Monroe, the Browns and even modern superstar acts like Alabama have all been family affairs. Few family acts have been as influential as the Louvin Brothers, however. Between 1955 (when they began recording secular  ...
Consider a world in which the Louvin Brothers hadn't existed. Try picturing the Everly Brothers without their having first been exposed to Ira and Charlie Louvin's seemingly effortless harmonies. Then try picturing the Beatles without having the Everlys serving as inspiration for their own harmonies. Or try to imagine the career of Gram Parsons without having convinced The Byrds to try recording "The Christian Life," or if he hadn't had the Louvins to serve as a model for the close harmony singing that he and Emmylou Harris later perfected in the early seventies, including their own rendition of the Louvins' "Cash On the Barrelhead."  ...

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