The Louvin Brothers (1955)
PLAY EXCERPT: "When I Stop Dreaming" (courtesy Universal)
The Louvin Brothers, Ira (1924-1965), on mandolin, and Charlie (1927-2011),
on guitar, sang close harmony, beginning with gospel music in their native
Appalachia. "When I Stop Dreaming" was their commercial breakthrough,
and one of a series of fatalistic country-western songs (like "You're
Running Wild," "My Baby's Gone," and "Must You Throw Dirt
in My Face") for which they became famous.
The worst that I've ever been hurt in my life
The first time I ever wanted to die
Was the night when you told me you loved someone new
And asked me if I could forget.
When I stop dreaming
That's when I'll stop loving you.
Their tempestuous relationship (and Ira's drinking) led the brothers to
split up in 1963, two years before Ira died -- killed by a drunk driver.