Louvin Brothers

Who is Ira Louvin to Bluegrass Fans?
Who is Ira Louvin to Bluegrass Fans?

Who is Ira Louvin to Bluegrass Fans?

Ira Louvin was far from perfect, but it’s probably his imperfection that made him such a legendary act. For Bluegrass fans, he was one of the best mandolin players in history, an elite songwriter and Country Music singer.  In addition, he was ½ half of the reason behind the Louvin Brothers’ success – the other half being his brother Charlie.

Early Background

Louvin was born Ira Lonnie Loudermilk on the 21st of April, 1924 in Section, Alabama. He’s related to Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee John Loudermilk. In addition, his music was inspired from the works of the Monroe and Delmore Brothers.

Bluegrass Career

Sometime in the 1940’s, Louvin teamed up with his younger brother, Charlie Elzer Loudermilk, and formed the duo act The Louvin Brothers. Ira took up the mandolin while Charlie played the guitar. Their group is credited with being one of the pioneers of close harmony, which is derived from Country Music.

At the start, most of their music was religious in nature, which was brought about by the strong influence of their Baptist faith. Further, most of the subject matter of their music focused on warnings against sin.

“The Get Acquainted Waltz”, which the duo sang with Chet Atkins, was their first non-gospel hit and helped them achieve a small amount of non-denominational success. Other secular songs the duo composed were “When I Stop Dreaming” and “Cash on the Barrelhead”.