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Gosdin Brothers
Gosdin Brothers
Despite a strong association with the Byrds, the Gosdin Brothers' progressive blend of bluegrass and country-rock never found its way to a popular audience, though Vern Gosdin would later become one of country's more acclaimed vocalists. Vern and Rex Gosdin grew up on a farm in Woodland, AL -- two of nine children -- and started singing together after discovering the Louvin Brothers. They performed regularly on local radio as teenagers, and moved to the Los Angeles area in 1961, where they joined a bluegrass group called the Golden State Boys. Chris Hillman was a member prior to joining the Byrds, and the group later changed its name to the Hillmen. When Hillman departed, the Gosdin Brothers teamed up to form their own outfit, and sometimes served as the Byrds' opening act. Additionally, when Gene Clark left the Byrds for a solo career, he teamed up with Vern and Rex to record the 1966 album Gene Clark With the Gosdin Brothers, an influential proto-country-rock effort. The Gosdin Brothers subsequently scored a deal with Capitol, and had their only chart single with 1967's "Hangin' On." Their first and only album, Sounds of Goodbye, was released in 1968, and its brand of country owed much to Clark and the Byrds' influence. The Gosdins opened for Merle Haggard on tour, and the Byrds recorded Vern's "Someone to Turn To" for the soundtrack of Easy Rider in 1969, but the overall lack of exposure proved too frustrating, and the brothers disbanded in 1970. Vern moved to Atlanta and ran a glass business before returning to music in 1976; this time the charts were kinder, and he ran off a string of country hits that lasted into the early '90s, when health problems curtailed his performing activities. Rex, too, mounted a solo career, but was less successful, and passed away in 1983. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
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