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Feb. 15: Charlie Louvin’s third solo single began its climb to No. 7 on the Billboard country chart when it was released on today’s date in 1965. Former Memphis rockabilly Ed Bruce (“Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys”) wrote this tale of a broken home, told from the perspective of the devastated husband and father.

The Louvin Brothers — Charlie and his older brother Ira, natives of Sand Mountain in Alabama — performed together for 23 years, until Charlie broke up the act in 1963 in frustration over Ira’s drinking. The brothers launched separate careers and retained their individual Grand Ole Opry memberships. Ira died just four months after this song came out — ironically, at the hands of a drunken driver.

As for Charlie, he has not stopped performing and recording, gaining a new generation of fans through his work on an alt-oriented label and touring with Lucinda Williams and Cake. Check out this year-old interview with Charlie Louvin, who talks about the earliest days of the Louvins and what broke them up, how it felt to strike out on his own, and his recent resurgance.

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