They didn’t call him “The Voice” for nothin’…Vern Gosdin was the geunine article.  After years of health problems, mostly related to strokes, Vern died here in Nashville yesterday.

The last time I saw Vern was about a year ago when CLC and I had lunch at the Cracker Barrel by Opryland.  Apparently, Vern was a daily customer and was on a first name basis with all the staff.  (Remember, Chris? One-by-one just about ALL the waitresses came by to see him?) 

Vern had a couple of different careers in music, first making his mark in the Bluegrass world in the 60’s with The Golden State Boys, which included his late brother, Rex, Don Parmley and  Chris Hillman.  They later changed the hillmenbands’ name to The Hillmen.  Vern was right in the middle of the country/rock movement of the late 60’s on the West Coast and even had one of his songs in the movie “Easy Rider.”

After giving up a music career and moving to Atlanta, Vern resurfaced and lordy, I’m glad he gave music another go.  Some of my very favorite country music recordings are Vern’s…his version of “Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud, Loud Music)” is my favorite rendition of that tune…Curtis Young’s perfect harmony on it is just superb…

 

Vern’s Gospel album, in my mind, is way up there with the best of the best. The Gentleman Formerly Known As My Husband had the priviledge of contributing harmony vocals on this album. I can’t speak for him but I would wager he is quite proud of that.  Vern’s version of “Jesus Hold My Hand” is my most absolute favorite recording of that Albert E. Brumley classic…

Vern’s classic, written with the late Max D. Barnes, Chiseled In Stone, I think, is up there with He Stopped Loving Her Today with the best of the best of country songs…embodies everything that makes a country song a great country song…very visual and real; so much so you just want to cry when you hear it…

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