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Country Singer Vern Gosdin Dies At Age 74

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Singer Vern Gosdin, who recorded country
music hits like the award-winning "Chiseled in Stone" during a
30-year career, has died. He was 74.

Michael Illobre, funeral director at Mount Olivet Funeral Home
in Nashville, said Wednesday that Gosdin was under hospice care and
died late Tuesday at an area hospital.

The singer's administrative assistant, Dawn Hall, said Gosdin
had a history of strokes and suffered the latest one a few weeks
ago.

"We were quite hopeful there for a while because he was showing
signs of coming back," Hall said.

Until earlier this month, she said, "He was independent and
telling me what to do." He released a box set in December and was
renovating his tour bus for an appearance at the Country Music
Association's annual festival in June.

"Chiseled in Stone" was voted 1989 song of the year by the
CMA. In the tune, an older man tells a younger man who is going
through tough times, "You don't know about sadness 'til you faced
life alone, you don't know about lonely 'til it's chiseled in
stone."

Gosdin, who was known as "The Voice," had several other hits
in the 1970s and '80s including "Set 'em Up Joe," "I Can Tell by
the Way You Dance" and "I'm Still Crazy."

During his career, he sang gospel music, bluegrass, folk-rock
and then country. He had a rich baritone, and was once described by
Tammy Wynette as "the only other singer who can hold a candle to
George Jones."

He once said he used life experiences in his music.

"Out of everything bad, something good will come if you look
hard enough - and I got 10 hits out of my last divorce," he said
after the breakup of his third marriage in 1989.

Gosdin wrote or co-wrote many of his recordings. In the late
1960s, he also wrote "Someone to Turn To," which was recorded by
the Byrds for the soundtrack of the movie "Easy Rider."

He was born in Woodland, Ala., where he grew up chopping cotton
and singing on the Gosdin family gospel music show.

His fans are circulating a petition to get him into the Country
Music Hall of Fame, Hall said.

"We're going to push and push and push and get him the
recognition he deserves," she said. "Fans leave him so many
messages all the time. ... He inspired so many people."

A public visitation is planned for Saturday at Mount Olivet
Funeral Home.

Gosdin is survived by a son.
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Associated Press writer Joe Edwards contributed to this report.
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On the Net:
http://thevoiceofcountrymusic.com/

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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