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Ira’s constant struggle with his personal demons would lead to the Louvin Brothers break-up in 1963, and cost him three marriages. Faye Louvin, wife number three, got so fed up with Ira that once after he tried to choke her she fetched a revolver and opened fire hitting him three to five times in the back (accounts vary).
Being a professional singer of tragic songs, Charlie doesn’t mind talking about his older brother’s death at the age of 41. Ira was on his way home from a gig in Kansas City on Father’s Day, 1965. There was construction on Highway 70 and it was down to one lane. Ira and his fourth wife, Anne Young, were traveling just outside of Williamsburg, Missouri when they were hit head on by a drunken driver. Both were killed instantly.
After a brief silence it’s time to get off the heavy stuff, and we change the subject to the new self-titled album. On it Charlie Louvin sings duets of Louvin Brothers’ hits with George “Possum” Jones, Tom T. Hall, Bobby Bare, Elvis Costello, Jeff Tweedy and a few people Charlie had never heard of like Tift Merritt. (“I thought that was a guy.”)
Someone comments on Marty Stuart’s haunting mandolin on “Knoxville Girl,” an old English folk song he learned from his mother. “Marty was only supposed to play on one or two songs, but he stayed and played on every one. Afterward I said, hold on, I got to pay you, and he put away his mandolin and said, ‘You just did.’”
We could go on like this all night — or at least till the Schlafly’s holds out — but it comes time for Charlie Louvin to take the stage. He stubs out his Lucky Strike and winks at my girlfriend. “You got a license to carry those?” She laughs and says, “Dirty old man!”
As we’re heading in, he turns to me and says, “There’s an old hill country saying that people are either like horses or mules. A horse will only work till he gets tired then he will lie down. But a mule will work till it drops dead. Guess which one I am?”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?