Hayden Childs’ Record Collection: The Louvin Brothers

Even when they sing secular music, the Louvin Brothers are about the best argument for the existence of a benevolent deity outside of the way that Christina Hendricks is shaped.  Charlie and Ira Loudermilk, who for some reason decided that “Louvin” was a more commercial name, sang a type of country gospel based on close harmony.  Many singers in popular music pitch their harmonies in fifths (C and G, for instance), which helps keep everyone in key and cover the tonal discrepancies of their voices.  Close harmony singers often pitch their harmonies in thirds, which can sound so very wrong with a lot of voices.  Many of the popular singers who have pulled off close harmonies are also closely related: the Beach Boys, the Everly Brothers, the Andrews Sisters.  It’s not completely necessary, as in Simon and Garfunkel, but it seems to help. 

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