(This is a guest article written by Cliff England.)
Vern Gosdin, known as “The Voice” by his country peers, and heralded by Tammy Wynette as “the only man that can hold a candle to George Jones” died late April 28 in a Nashville hospital at the age of 74, due to complications from a stroke.
Gosdin was born and raised Woodlawn, AL and began singing gospel at an early age. He later moved on to moderate singing and songwriting success with brother, Rex, in the duo known as the Gosdin Brothers. In 1961, Gosdin moved his song and dance out to Los Angeles, CA, where he became a part of the west coast country movement. It was not until two band breakups, one retirement, and nearly fifteen years later that the world would truly get to know the man Vern Gosdin.
After cutting “Yesterdays Gone” in 1977, with grassroots country star Emmylou Harris, Gosdin’s career blossomed. Throughout the next fifteen years Gosdin would go on to make 19 top-ten solo hits, including three number one songs. Some of these hits include: “Set ‘Em Up Joe”, “Way Down Deep”, “I’m Still Crazy”, “Chiseled in Stone” and “I Can Tell By the Way You Dance (That You’re Gonna Love Me Tonight).”
His sure-fire baritone voice drew many comparisons to that of George Jones, as
well the unique story telling in Gosdin’s songwriting can be recognized by nearly anyone
who has listened to a solid-country gold compilation album. He was a true country legend
in the lane of pioneers like Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell, and Buck Owens. Though the
man is gone, like many country heroes before him, his music will live on. A public visitation was held Saturday (May 2) at Mount Olivet Funeral Home in Nashville, TN.
There is a petition being circulated to induct Gosdin in the Country Music Hall of
Fame. You can sign it here.