Country Great Vern “The Voice” Gosdin Dies

Country singer/songwriter Vern Godsin, who was nicknamed “the Voice” for his marvelous baritone, died in Nashville on April 27th following a recent stroke. Gosdin placed an impressive 41 solo singles and eight albums on the country charts between 1976 and 1993, reports.

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Gosdin and his brother Rex formed the group the Gosdin Borthers in the early 1960s, whose roster would include future Byrd Chris Hillman and bluegrass artist Don Parmley. In the 70s Gosdsin went solo, signing with Elektra Records and releasing the hits “Hangin’ On,” “Yesterday’s Gone,” and “‘Til the End.” His career began to really hit it’s stride with “Chiseled In Stone,” co-written with partner Max D. Barnes, which earned them the CMA Song of the Year award in 1988.

Other notable Gosdin tunes include the 1982 hit “Today My World Slipped Away” (also covered by George Straitt), “I Can Tell By the Way You Dance” (1984), “Set ‘Em Up Joe” (1988) and “I’m Still Crazy” (1989).

Warning: the following song is a tear-jerker.


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  1. • George Strait: “We will all miss Vern. He was one hell of a country singer and helped me out a lot on my very first tour. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

    • Jack Ingram: “You can’t go into a bar room that plays real country music without hearing Vern Gosdin. ‘Chiseled In Stone’ is as sad a country song as ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today,’ and ‘Set’Em Up, Joe’ is a call to anyone who’s ever had a reason to be in a bar like that to begin with. Vern Gosdin’s voice was truth — the hardcore country kind — and any time I heard him on the jukebox, my car radio or my old tape of Chiseled in Stone, I knew there was a lot about life and loss and love left to learn.”

    • Emmylou Harris, to The Tennessean: “They called him ‘The Voice,’ and they didn’t call him that for nothing. He had such restraint, and restraint intensifies emotion. He trusted the song and the melody. People don’t realize how difficult it is to put across a country song with a complete economy of notes and phrasing. Vern did that as well as anyone.”

    • Josh Turner, to Dial-Global: “The news of Vern’s death puts me beyond sad. He was one my unofficial vocal coaches. He taught me what ‘country soul music’ was. Country music has lost one of its ambassadors. One of its soldiers. One of its fathers. His music will live on, but he will be greatly missed.”

    • Rory Lee Feek, of Joey+Rory: “We saw a man walk by our table [at Cracker Barrel] that looked like Vern. Both Joey and I were/are huge fans, so when he sat down, we walked over and said, ‘Excuse me, but are you Vern Gosdin?’ He looked up and with a big smile answered, ‘No, I’m Charley Pride; pull up a chair, and sit for awhile. We spent the next hour just visiting with him and hearing stories about some of our favorite songs that he’d recorded over the years. He was so funny, inspirational and full of life. We were just honored to meet him and get to spend some time with one of our heroes.”

    • Jamey Johnson, to The Tennessean: “If anyone wants to know, ‘Was he really that good?’ they can just listen to ‘Chiseled In Stone’ or ‘Do You Believe Me Now.’ He was really that good. The guy was a walking heartache.”

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