Country music singer Charlie Louvin dies

Last Updated: Jan 27, 2011, 17:05 PM IST

New York: Country music legend Charlie Louvin, the surviving half of the `The Louvin Brothers`, died after losing his battle with cancer.

He was 83.

One of the pioneers of country music, the singer passed away at his home in Wartrace, Tennessee, yesterday due to complications related to pancreatic cancer, The New York Times reported.

An influential figure in the country music scene of the 1950`s and 1960`s, Louvin`s music went on to influence several generations of rock musicians.

The singer achieved his greatest fame with the Louvin Brothers, a popular country duo who echoed the vocal style of the Everly Brothers.

The band`s biggest hit, `I Don`t Believe You`ve Met My Baby`, was a No 1 country hit for two weeks in 1956 and they also found success with later singles such as `When I Stop Dreaming` and `Cash`.

Their other hits include `In the Pines`, `Knoxville Girl` and `The Christian Life`.

In the late 1950`s, the brothers headlined a US tour that included Elvis Presley as support. Typically, Charlie would play guitar and take lead vocals while his brother Ira, who died in a car crash back in 1965, would play mandolin. In 2001, the brothers were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Their popularity waned in the 60s and in 1963 declining record sales and Ira`s drinking led the brothers to dissolve their partnership and pursue solo careers.

Charlie continued his solo career, which spanned five decades, but the singer later admitted that he never got used to singing without his brother.

After being diagnosed with cancer, the singer underwent surgery back in July 2010 but the procedure was unsuccessful.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Betty Harrison Louvin; three sons, Charlie Jr, Glenn and Kenneth; three sisters, Geraldine McDonald, Ailene Parker and Flora Lauderdale; and five grandchildren.

PTI