- The Guardian's 10 Best Albums incl. Sturgill, Tami Neilson, Jason Eady
- Hear Unreleased Joe Ely and Linda Ronstadt duet "Where Is My Love"
- If You Missed It: Willie Nelson and Billy Joe Shaver on Letterman
- NPR Tiny Desk Concert with Lucinda Williams
- Titles from Willie, Hank Williams, Bob Wills Headed to Grammy Hall of Fame
- Hear New Joe Pug Song "If Still It Can Be Found"
- Houston Press: Is Country Music Ready For Sturgill Simpson?
- Blitzen Trapper Releases Free Live Album
- Eric Church's "The Outsiders" Goes Platinum
- Fatal South by Southwest Crash Brings First Wave of Lawsuits
- New Song from Cody Canada and the Departed "Easy"
- Flaco Jimenez to receive Lifetime Grammy Award
- Country Weekly's Top 10 Albums Incl. Sturgill, Old Crow, Billy Joe Shaver
- Nashville Scene Rips Into American Country Countdown Awards
- Ardent Studios Founder John Fry Dies at 69
- Windowing New Music May Not Goose Sales, Study Shows
- Engineer and Producer John Hampton Dies
- Famous Nashville Backup Singer Millie Kirkham Dies at 91
- Proof How Much The Music Industry Has Changed In The Last Ten Years
- NY Times' Jon Caramanica's Top 10 Albums Includes Sturgill Simpson
- Galleywinter's Favorites of 2014
Last week it was announced that Charlie Louvin who just turned 83, has been diagnosed with stage 2 pancreatic cancer. Charlie has a six hour surgery scheduled at the Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville on July 22nd, two days after his new album Hickory Wind : Live at the Gram Parsons Guitar Pull, Waycross GA is released.
Being the tough guy that Charlie is, he’s already planning to start touring again by August 21st if all goes right, and when he does, it will not be a big shot booking agency filling Charlie’s calendar, but an agency who books bands like Joe Buck and The .357 String Band, that being the Bucket City Agency.
Charlie Louvin, just like many aging country music greats, is finding a soft landing in the grass roots built by Outlaw and underground country artists. As radio support and media coverage dwindles, labels, booking agencies, and managers who are tooled to deal with smaller-sized performers rise up to meet the task. Many greats like Charlie are also finding that their fan base is filling with younger folks, and that they get better turnout at venues that typically cater to younger crowds and rock bands. Just like in the 70′s, when the Outlaws created a strange mix of cowboys and hippies, these older artists are mixing old with young fans.
And Charlie isn’t the only one. Bucket City also books the 90-year-old T-Model Ford. When Merle Haggard went to release his album If I Could Only Fly he did so under punk label Epitaph Records, home of the bands Bad Religion and Rancid. Charlie explained his issues with label and radio support in a must-read article by Juli Thanki:
“When I was on the road, people would say “I wish you’d record again.” So I’d go home, wipe the savings account out and record the CD. Of course, I’m too poor to send a copy to 3500 disc jockeys, and most radio stations won’t play an indie label period, no matter who sings it. So you see those same people a year later and they’d say “I thought you were going to put out a CD,” and I’d say, “I did, about nine months ago.””
“They don’t grade what they play by the quality of its content. They play it because the person who’s singing it is young, and cute…And it seems that the major labels own most of the radio stations…Radio is supposed to be a community project, and too many stations are getting their orders from somewhere else. And what New York City would like isn’t necessarily what Manchester, Tennessee would want to hear.”
When Hank Williams III first signed with Curb Records, they sent him to Branson to cut his country teeth. One of the acts he opened for was Charlie Louvin. Hank III later paid his respects by adding a portion of the Louvin Brothers gospel hit “Satan is Real” to the beginning of his song “Straight to Hell.”
Our thoughts are with Charlie and his family, and we look forward to seeing him back out on the road soon!
6 Comments to “Charlie Louvin Finds Support in the Grass Roots”
Leave a comment
Support SCM and start
your Amazon shopping here