How many Byrds’ connections can we trace in this wonderful video of Charlie Louvin singing the old Louvin Brothers’ song (I think) “Love and Wealth” on The Nashville Network in 1987? Backing Louvin on the harmony vocals are Emmylou Harris and Vern Gosdin. They bring out the world of pain and hurt in the song.
The Byrds’ connections are myriad. The Byrds recorded a Louvin Brothers’ song on their pioneering Sweetheart of the Rodeo album in 1968. For many of us, it was the first time we’d ever heard of the Louvin Brothers. Sad but true.
Former Byrds Chris Hillman and Gram Parsons discovered Miss Emmylou. Parsons immediately understood that she was a brilliant harmony singer, as one can observe in the video.
Before the Byrds were formed and Hillman was recruited to join them, he began his career as a member of a group that featured Vern and Rex Gosdin. In Hillman’s honor it was renamed the Hillmen. Like the Byrds, it was a group with talent to burn. Ex-Byrd Gene Clark later recorded his first solo album with the Gosdin Brothers when he left the Byrds.
The video is just too good not to share.
CORRECTION: I’ve corrected this post to state that Charlie Louvin is on the lead vocal, not Vern Gosdin.
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