Vern Gosdin

As country music swung back toward traditional styles in the 1980s, an inheritor of the soulful honky tonk style of Lefty Frizzell and Merle Haggard rose to the top of the business and notched hit after barroom hit. Sometimes he was known simply as "the Voice." Born in Woodland, AL, Vern Gosdin idolized the Louvin Brothers and the Blue Sky Boys as a young man and sang in a gospel quartet called the Gosdin Brothers. When he was in his late teens, his family moved to Birmingham and began hosting The Gosdin Family Gospel Show on a local radio station. Gosdin and his brother, Rex, moved to Long Beach, CA, in 1961. They began performing bluegrass music in the milieu that gave birth to country-rock, joining a group called the Golden State Boys that evolved into the Hillmen, featuring future Byrds member Chris Hillman. Vern and Rex teamed up to sing country music as the Gosdin Brothers once again, had a Top 40 country hit in 1967 with "Hangin' On," and opened for the Byrds on occasion.