Our Top 10 Vern Gosdin Songs list presents the best Vern Gosdin Songs like “Chiseled in Stone” “I’m Still Crazy” and many more. From 1977 until 1990, Vern “The Voice” Gosdin had nineteen of his solo singles become top ten hits on the country music charts. Born on August 5, 1934, in Woodland, Alabama, he and his two brothers grew up singing for the Bethel East Baptist Church while their mother played the piano. The trio also sang gospel for WVOK, a radio station based in Birmingham.
West Country Idols
When Gosdin moved to Chicago, Illinois, he operated the D&G Tap. As a young man, he idolized The Blue Sky Boys and The Louvin Brothers. In 1961, he relocated to California where he joined the West Coast Country music movement. First, he joined the Golden State Boys before they changed their name to The Hillmen. After this, he formed The Gosdin Brothers with his brother, Rex. The two released a couple of hit singles “Hangin’ On” and “Till the End” while they were signed with Capital Records. In the meantime, they also teamed with Gene Clark for the 1967 album, Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers. This lineup also included Glen Campbell, Bill Rinehart, and Clarence White.
Going into the 1970s, Vern Gosdin mostly retired from performing after moving to Cartersville, Georgia, and managed a glass company while there. Then in 1976, he signed with Elektra Records, recording a remake of “Hangin’ On,” a single he and his brother released as a single in 1967. This duet performance with Emmylou Harris became a number sixteen hit on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart at the time. This was followed in 1977 by another duet with Harris, “Yesterday’s Gone.” This became his first top-ten hit as a solo artist.
From 1977 until 1979, Vern Gosdin enjoyed one hit after another that included a cover of The Association’s “Never My Love” and a remake of “Till the End.” This was followed by 1981’s “Dream of Me,” another top ten hit he experienced after just signing up with Ovation Records. However, this also marked the year the label closed its doors, prompting Gosdin to sign with A.M.I. Records. This brought forth a number ten hit in 1982 with “Today My World Slipped Away.” This is the same song that became a number-three hit on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for George Strait in 1997.
Gosdin vs. Paxton
For Vern Gosdin, 1982 began as a year that had a trial that looked into the attempted murder of music producer Gary S. Paxton. It was reported by Darryl C. Langley under oath that he and his partner were hired by Vern Gosdin to take out Paxton over a supposed disagreement that went out of control. However, Gosdin was never charged for this as there was not enough evidence to work with to present a solid case. Until the day of his death on April 28, 2009, Gosdin refused to comment on whether or not the allegations against him were actually true.
Aside from the accusations made against him for wrongdoing against Paxton, Gosdin continued impressing fans and the music industry with a string of hits that kept him on top as a favorite country performer. He often traveled from coast to coast as the opening act for George Jones. Together, they complimented each other well as they shared the same brand of emotionalism that was poured into their music as singers. From 1980 until 1984, Gosdin’s hits consistently charted in the top ten on various country music charts, including the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. With Max D. Barnes as his songwriter at the time, Gosdin was at the top of his game.
It was in 1983 that Vern Gosdin realized two big hits, namely “If You’re Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right)” and “Way Down Deep.” This was followed in 1984 with his first number-one hit single, “I Can Tell by the Way You Dance (You’re Gonna Love Me Tonight).”
Despite Gosdin’s success as a recording artist, it was not enough for Complete Records to avoid bankruptcy. This caused Gosdin to sign up with Columbia Records in 1987. Immediately, he scored another big hit with “Do You Believe Me Now,” as well as the Ernest Tubb tribute, “Set Em Up Joe.”
Despite suffering a stroke in 1998, Vern Gosdin continued to sing and write songs until receiving his second stroke in 2009. This was the same year he collaborated with Joe Sins to write and record what became his final four songs. His death came seven years after the murder of his son, Marty Allen Gosdin, and seven years before the death of his first wife, Cathy, and his second son, Stephen Wayne Gosdin.
In total, Vern Gosdin has fourteen studio albums and eight compilation albums to his credit, along with forty-one singles. Among them, 1988’s Chiseled in Stone became certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. This was also the case with the 1990 release of 10 Years of Greatest Hits – Newly Recorded and 1993’s Super Hits.
Top 10 Vern Gosdin Songs
#10 – Way Down Deep
Written by the father and son team of Max D. Barnes and Max T. Barnes, “Way Down Deep” was a song recorded and released by Vern Gosdin in 1983. It became the second single from the album If You’re Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right). On the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, it peaked at number five. In Canada, it was even more popular at number three on its Canadian Country Tracks Chart.
#9 – Never My Love (featuring Janie Fricke)
Vern Gosdin’s 1978 version of “Never My Love” became one of the biggest hits in his career as a country artist. He, along with Janie Fricke, turned this into a number nine hit on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. “Never My Love” was originally recorded in 1967 by The Association as a pop number that became a number two hit on the US Billboard Hot 100. What Gosdin’s performance did was make this song a favorite among country fans, along with the harmonical talent of Janie Fricke.
#8 – If You’re Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right)
His performance of “If You’re Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right)” was enough to earn a Grammy Award nomination for Best Country Vocal Performance Male. Although it didn’t secure a win, it did become a number-five hit on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, and a number thirty-nine hit on the Canadian Country Tracks chart.
This was a breakup song about a man realizing his woman was about to break his heart. Because of this, he lyrically expressed she should do so with enough class to go about it the right way. There was a reason why he was regarded as “The Voice” of country music as his baritone vocals had the uncanny ability to easily win over an audience.
#7 – Do You Believe Me Now
Released in 1987, “Do You Believe Me Now” was one of many songs Vern Gosdin wrote with Max D. Barnes. Together, the two were a dynamic duo in country music as there were very few songs they did together that didn’t become a hit. On the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, it was another Chiseled in Stone gem, peaking at number four on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and at number thirteen on the Canadian Country Tracks chart.
Sung as a lovestruck man that appeared to be at the end of his rope, this was a performance by Gosdin at his tearjerking best. As a songwriter, Barnes knew how to hone in on a craft that Gosdin would pour his soul into as a number that once again had no trouble winning over scores of music fans that quickly regarded “Do You Believe Me Now” as a favorite.
#6 – Till the End (featuring Janie Fricke)
Released in 1977, “Till the End” was Vern Gosdin’s third single. His wife at the time, Cathy, co-wrote this song with him. On the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, it peaked at number seven. With Janie Fricke as the contributing female singer in this beautiful song, it was a lyrical promise from Vern to his wife that he would love her forever. It was a promise he kept, even after the two divorced and moved with their own lives.
#5 – That Just About Does It
Released in 1989, “That Just About Does It” was a song that featured Vern Gosdin attempting to patch things up with his love interest. What turned out to be an unsuccessful endeavor in the story became very successful as a fan-favorite hit. Coming from the album, Alone, this song was one of the standouts that shared the woes Gosdin was personally experiencing. It came at a time when the fate of his third marriage ended in divorce. Despite the separation, it was a loss that wounded him deeply enough that inspired him to record an entire record about it.
On the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, “That Just About Does It” peaked at number four. On the Canadian Country Tracks chart, it peaked at number three. Today, it remains an all-time favorite as a heartbreaking ballad, especially among a fan base who can relate.
#4 – I Can Tell By the Way You Dance (You’re Gonna Love Me Tonight)
“I Can Tell By the Way You Dance (You’re Gonna Love Me Tonight)” was a Gary Morris original that was covered and released as a single in 1984 by Vern Gosdin. It was a number-one hit on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, as well as on the Canadian Country Tracks chart, and remained one of Gosdin’s signature songs. This was a love song that had Gosdin share his feelings for a woman whom he could tell felt the same way.
This song became a major favorite among country music fans and some of them used it as a wedding song chosen as a newly wedded couple’s first dance. Oddly enough, Gosdin felt this song had too many rock and roll elements in it to pass as a country song. It took two years before he finally came around and agreed to record it.
#3 – Set Em Up Joe
“Set Em Up Joe” was Vern Gosdin’s 1988 musical tribute to the legendary Ernest Tubb. This became one of Vern’s greatest hits of all time. It was the second song from the man to top the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It also became a number-two hit on the Canadian Country Tracks chart.
“Set Em Up Joe” had the collective songwriting talent of Gosdin, Buddy Cannon, Hank Cochran, and Dean Dillon. All four talents were big fans of Ernest Tubb. Inspired by his 1941 signature hit, “Walking the Floor Over You,” it spawned a song that would become one of Gosdin’s signature songs.
#2 – I’m Still Crazy
“I’m Still Crazy” was the final number-one hit released by Vern Gosdin, which was released as a single in 1989. From Alone, it was the standout song of a recording that revolved around the dissolving of Gosdin’s marriage. On both the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and the Canadian Country Tracks chart, “I’m Still Crazy” peaked at the top.
In the song, Gosdin admitted he was still crazy in love with his woman, despite the fact the two were headed down the inescapable road of separation. Gosdin’s son, Steve, helped him write this song, as did renowned songwriter, Buddy Cannon. It remains one of the all-time fan favorites for its heartwarming confession as a man still lost in love.
#1 – Chiseled in Stone
“Chiseled in Stone” was a song written by Vern Gosdin and Max D. Barnes as a team. Released in 1988 as a single, it was awarded Song of the Year in 1989 by the Country Music Association. It also earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Country Song but wasn’t able to achieve the win. On the Canadian Country Tracks Chart, “Chiseled in Stone” peaked at number three. On the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, it charted as high as number six.
Among the fans, this was a major favorite for the tearjerking gem it was when it was released. As an artist and a person, the tale of a man dealing with domestic issues became a Vern Gosdin trademark that songwriter Max D. Barnes knew how to capitalize on. “Chiseled in Stone” was a song that had Barnes share the experience of a father who lost his eighteen-year-old son in a car accident, an actual event that took place in 1975.
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Top 10 Vern Gosdin Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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