Satan Is Real
The Ballad of the Louvin Brothers
Publication Date: January 2013
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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The beautiful and tragic saga of the Louvin Brothers—one of the most legendary country duos of all time—is one of America's great untold stories. Charlie Louvin was a good, God-fearing, churchgoing singer, but his brother, Ira, had the devil in him and was known for smashing his mandolin to splinters onstage, cussing out Elvis Presley, and trying to strangle his third wife with a telephone cord.
With a moving foreword by Kris Kristofferson, Satan Is Real is the incredible tale of Charlie Louvin's sixty-five-year career, the timeless murder ballads of the Louvin Brothers, and the epic tale of two brothers bound together by love, hate, alcohol, blood, and music.
Born in Henagar, Alabama, Charlie Louvin recorded from 1947 to 1962 with his brother, Ira, as the Louvin Brothers. In 1955, they became members of the Grand Ole Opry and churned out thirteen hits on the Billboard country chart, including "When I Stop Dreaming," "Cash on the Barrelhead," and "Knoxville Girl." Charlie's solo career began in 1964 with the top five hit "I Don't Love You Anymore," and he followed it with twenty-nine Billboard-charting singles and four Grammy nominations.
Benjamin Whitmer is the author of the novel Pike and a lifelong country music fan. He lives and writes in Denver.
“One of the most important and illuminating memoirs ever written by a country singer.”
-Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal
“I think I’ve already found my favorite book of 2012.”
-Chris Talbott, Associated Press
“Satan Is Real has the best-designed book cover of 2012 .”
“The anecdotes alone offer significance to any person interested in the anthropology of Americana music. Magnanimous without feigning and brusque without malice, Charlie Louvin’s clear-eyed commentary is straightforward and unapologetic.”
“Masterful [and] graceful.”
-Alec Solomita, Wall Street Journal
“Raw honesty, genuine grit, common sense, and smokin’ down-home flavor.”
“A real classic of Americana.”
“The mix of light and darkness that filled their music was mirrored in their lives.”
-Ian Crouch, The New Yorker
“[A] chilling portrait of a brilliant musician intent on self-annihilation.”
“Grand themes of life, death, religion, salvation, damnation, human choices and, sometimes, joy.”
-Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times
“Simple and plain-spoken, yet powerful and resonant.”
“There was something scary and washed in the blood about the sound of the Louvin Brothers.”
“Charlie…was a true punk, in the best sense of the word.”
“You can’t find anybody, I don’t think, that was not inspired by them.”
“They influenced everybody.”
“The Burritos’ favorite artists.”
“The Louvin Brothers were my favorite when I was young and growing up in the business.”
“Probably the greatest traditional country duo in history.”
-Grove Dictionary of American Music
“The most influential harmony team in the history of country music.”
-Los Angeles Times
“One of the pre-eminent brother acts in country music and an inspiration to several generations of rock musicians.”
-New York Times