Legendary country duo the LOUVIN BROTHERS (1956-1963) were arguably one of the biggest country duos of their time, and unreleased demo recordings from their early years will be heard for the first time September 28 when Modern Harmonic releases Love And Wealth: The Lost Recordings. The 29 songs (and one warm, spoken audio letter) have never been released before, although a few of these cuts have been covered by other artists.
Today, RollingStone.com debuted an exclusive track, "It's All Off." You can check it out here. Writer Stephen Betts added, "Although the Louvin Brothers' illustrious career yielded such memorable singles as 'I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby,' 'When I Stop Dreaming,' and the classic LP, Satan Is Real, the discovery of a treasure trove of previously unreleased demo recordings from siblings Charlie and Ira adds a stunning coda to the Louvins' already impressive legacy...One of the most dynamic acts in country-music history, the Louvin Brothers were also one of the most influential, inspiring artists from Dolly Parton, Vince Gill and Emmylou Harris to the Everly Brothers, Gram Parsons and the Byrds. Numerous bluegrass-gospel acts, including the Osborne Brothers, the Country Gentlemen and Louisiana's Whitstein Brothers, who modeled their close harmony on that of the Louvins, recorded and performed songs by the duo."
Originally captured as songwriting demos in the late '50s, then filed away for the next six decades, the 2-CD/double-LPs are more than just quick takes on new tunes, these are fully realized performances that rival the best of their official discography, originally on Capitol Records. The Louvin Brothers-Ira and Charlie-were acclaimed for their virtuosic musicianship and songwriting prowess. They were regulars on the Grand Ole Opry, were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001 and their music has been recorded by artists including The Byrds, Vince Gill and Emmylou Harris, among others. A 2003 tribute album to the duo featured artists like Merle Haggard, Glen Campbell, Dolly Parton, Marty Stuart and Johnny Cash, and won two Grammy Awards (Best Country Album and Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for James Taylor and Alison Krauss).
In his thorough liner notes for Love And Wealth, writer Colin Escott goes through the collection, identifying songs that were hits (or near-hits) for other artists, as well as songs like "Discontented Cowboy" that weren't known to exist. He notes the song was possibly "the Louvin's response to a request for western songs; if so, it's a very southeastern spin on the western genre." He goes on to note, "Comedic songs, love songs, and that one cowboy song aside, it's in the religious songs that we hear the still beating heart of Ira Louvin. No one could call the Louvin's MGM or Capitol sessions overproduced, but the gospel demos have an intimacy and immediacy that even outrank the studio recordings."
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Spoken Message From Ira Louvin
It's All Off
Take My Ring From Your Finger
I'll Never Go Back (To The Ways of Sin)
Are You Missing Me?
Coo, Coo, Coo
(I'm Changing The Words To) My Love Song
Red Hen Boogie
Don't Compare The Future With The Past
That's My Heart Talking
I'm Gonna Love You One More Time
Preach The Gospel
They've Got The Church Outnumbered
The Sons And Daughters of God
Insured Beyond The Grave
You'll Meet Him In The Clouds
I Love God's Way of Living
Love And Wealth
Bald Knob, Arkansas
Kiss Me Like You Did Yesterday
Would You Tear Down Your Castle
Never Say Goodbye