Skip directly to content

Country singer Vern Gosdin dies at age 74

By JOHN GEROME, AP Entertainment Writer John Gerome, Ap Entertainment Writer 1 hr 4 mins ago
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – 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.



Countrybug's picture

Another great voice and man leaving us. I've always loved Vern's selections of songs, and his talent. He will be missed. I was happy when he was invited to do the duet with Randy on his "Hero's & Friends" album. As he was definitely both to Randy. A hero and a friend. Then he chose "Chiseled In Stone" as the choice for his selection on the Cracker Barrel album. May you rest in peace now Vern. Dee
Jacquelyn Diaz's picture

It is very sad the Vern Gosdin passed away.
RTFan419's picture

He will definitely be missed! He was another one who you only had to hear his voice to know who he was...nobody else sounded like him. It is indeed a sad day for country music...
toprandyfan's picture

He had such a soft gentle vioce. He will be missed.
lademars's picture

Vern Gosdin has passed away at the age of 74.
dwayne's picture

Its a sad day in country music, Vern Gosdin was such a great singer. I recently bought his greatest hits CD and just loved the way he sang a song. He will be missed by all. Dwayne