Image Credit: Mark Humphrey/AP ImagesCountry singer Charlie Louvin died today at the age of 83, following a battle with pancreatic cancer. Charlie and his brother Ira performed as the Louvin Brothers and the pair scored a succession of hit singles in the ’50s and early ’60s, including “When I Stop Dreaming” and “Cash on the Barrel Head.” The split up in 1963 and Ira died a couple of years later in a car accident.
The duo’s style of close harmony singing was hugely influential on The Byrds and, in particular, Gram Parsons, whose version of “Cash on the Barrelhead” can be heard on his posthumously released 1974 album, Grievous Angel. Another Louvin Brothers track, “The Christian Life,” would be covered by both the Byrds and, more recently, The Raconteurs.
Louvin continued to perform as a solo act. In 2007, he released the album Charlie Louvin, whose diverse list of guest performers included fellow country great George Jones, Superchunk’s Mac McCaughan, and Jeff Tweedy from Wilco.
Louvin was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last summer. He died at his home in Wartrace, Tennessee.
You can check out the Louvin Brothers’ singing “Cash on the Barrel Head” below.