The Louvin Brothers - Tragic Songs of Life
Jan 15, 2020
Initially, The Louvin Brothers, composed of d'Ira and Charlie, started out singing gospel songs, before moving on to a very country sound, but with respect to their religious ideals. According to some, they started their "career" in the early 1940s, but the first single was Seven Year Blues / Alabama 1949, released by Decca, who would only bet on them once. They are reputed to have democratised the vocal technique of close harmony in country genre, but not only that.

Already signed to Capitol Records since 1952 thanks to their first success The Get Acquainted Waltz produced by the legend Chet Atkins, it was not until 1955 that the band had other consequent successes. However, Capitols feels that they are selling enough and that there are a few things to be done. The Louvins brothers therefore proposed to start a concept album around sad folk/country songs, influenced in particular by their idols. It was already a "niche" they had already approached, that's why we can also find in the LP, songs already released before (Alabama, Knoxville Girl etc...).

So let's be honest, it's not the country album that I would recommend to someone who wants to discover this genre, however at the time there were few albums and especially few good country albums in reality (like Chet Atkins, Eddy Arnold, Lefty Frizzell for example) because labels and artists didn't bet on a long format and this was limited to the regional and local success of the "singles". Tragic Songs of Life is therefore for me one of the rare albums that was worthwhile at the time. And this one's also a step forward in the genre

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