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The Louvin Brothers

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The Louvin Brothers were an American country music duo composed of brothers Ira Lonnie Loudermilk (1924–1965) and Charlie Elzer Loudermilk (1927–2011), better known as Ira and Charlie Louvin. They helped popularize close harmony, a genre of country music. The brothers are cousins to John D. Loudermilk, a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member.

The brothers adopted the name Louvin Brothers in the 1940s as they began their career in gospel music. Their first foray into secular music was the minor hit “The Get Acquainted Waltz”, recorded with Chet Atkins. Other hits included “Cash on the Barrelhead” and “When I Stop Dreaming”. They joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1955 and stayed there until breaking up in 1963.
Their songs were heavily influenced by their Baptist faith and warned against sin. Ira Louvin was notorious for his drinking, womanizing, and short temper. He was married four times; his third wife Faye shot him four times in the chest and twice in the hand after he allegedly beat her. Although seriously injured, he survived. When performing and drinking, Ira would sometimes become angry enough on stage to smash his mandolin; otherwise his style was heavily influenced by Bill Monroe.
As of 1963, Charlie was making enough money that he was able to start a solo career, and Ira also went on his own.

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