R.I.P. Charlie Louvin, 1927-2011

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Some sad news out of Nashville this morning, according to a link on Vintage Vinyl's Facebook. Country icon Charlie Louvin died this morning. He was 83. Louvin was scheduled to play at Off Broadway in November -- a concert which was rescheduled from earlier in the year -- but it was very quietly canceled. The musician was diagnosed with Stage 2 pancreatic cancer last year; according to a report on his official website last summer, however, surgery for it "did not go as planned. He will begin using alternative methods of treatment, going forward."

Louvin did play in St. Louis in 2007, and the RFT's Roy Kasten chatted with him about performing and collaborating with the band Lambchop.

Roy Kasten: You'll be eighty years old this July. I guess you're not ready for retirement?
Charlie Louvin: I'll retire when I can't sing on key. I hope that's not soon!

Did you know who or what Lambchop was before this album?
No sir. I'd never met Mark Nevers until Josh Rosenthal [of Tompkins Square] introduced us. I knew the boy from Wilco, and I knew Uncle Tupelo, because they recorded "The Great Atomic Power." I was very familiar with Elvis Costello; he's an avid Louvin Brother fan, and I hope I made him a Charlie Louvin fan before this is over.

Read the rest of the interview here. Incidentally, as legend has it, Louvin was slated to do a half-hour in-store at Vintage Vinyl a few years ago -- and instead did a two-and-a-half-hour performance! That's perhaps the greatest testament to the musician's love of performing -- and of music.

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