Satan Is Real: The Ballad of the Louvin Brothers
Charlie Louvin, Benjamin Whitmer
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Get ready for one of America’s great untold stories: the true saga of the Louvin Brothers, a mid-century Southern gothic Cain and Abel and one of the greatest country duos of all time. The Los Angeles Times called them “the most influential harmony team in the history of country music,” but Emmylou Harris may have hit closer to the heart of the matter, saying “there was something scary and washed in the blood about the sound of the Louvin Brothers.” For readers of Johnny Cash’s irresistible autobiography and Merle Haggard’s My House of Memories, no country music library will be complete without this raw and powerful story of the duo that everyone from Dolly Parton to Gram Parsons described as their favorites: the Louvin Brothers.
you couldn’t be seen. Papa put two and two together. He didn’t even bother asking us, “What’re you doing with my banjo?” neither. He just went down to the school and told the teacher, “When you’re finished with my boys, you send ’em home right away. I need them to work in the fields.” And then he told us that if we ever snuck out of the house with his banjo again, he’d give us a whipping we’d never forget. That pretty much did away with any interest I had in school. I didn’t make it past the
cop if he was given a reason. And as big as he was, he didn’t have much trouble doing so, even as a teenager. “Is your name Eddie Hill?” the cop asked. “That’s right. And I’m just about to get up on this stage and play my set.” “Not with that guitar you ain’t,” the cop said. “You’ve missed payments on it and I’m here to repossess it.” “Aw, c’mon,” Eddie said. “We’re just about to play a show here. How’s about you let us do our thing, and whatever we make we’ll turn over toward the payments?”
own dust. Then we bent over and got back to picking. We knew better than to let Papa catch us just standing around. “So how are we gonna get a dime to see that show?” I finally asked Ira as we filled our sacks. “It’s only a dime if you’re trying to get inside,” Ira said. “It won’t cost us nothing to stand on the yard and listen. You know how hot that gymnasium gets. If they leave those windows closed, everybody in there’ll suffocate to death. They’ll have to open ’em, and then we’ll be able to
had the option of being an alcoholic. I always knew I had a whole bunch of people who believed in me, and I didn’t want to disappoint them. Even when I do drink, and I’ve been known to drink a beer here and there, I buy my own. Every time. That way you can’t go around telling people how you and Charlie Louvin got smashed together. I don’t want to leave a legacy like that for my kids. We’ve had some others in Nashville that you never saw totally straight, that’s for sure. George Jones was
I never turned the radio on in the car. I guess I didn’t want to wake up the guys. And then, when daylight came and the guys finally came awake of their own accord, we just left it off. But when we finally got to the park, Sonny James, a country singer who was also on the ticket that day, was standing out front at the gate. I pulled the car to a stop beside him and rolled down the window. “What’s going on, Sonny?” I asked. “You’ve got an emergency, Charlie,” he said. “An emergency?” I said.