For today’s Pickin & Grinnin In The Kitchen Spot-I have an old song for you-Don’t Laugh. It’s a toe tapping number that moves right along-and Paul and Pap’s harmony is perfect. The title is ironic to me due to a behind the scenes story Paul told me about the song. The Louvin Brothers had a hit with the song during the late 1950s. Most of the songs recorded by The Louvins Brothers were written by them-but not this one.
Rebe & Rabe another popular duet style group also hailed from Alabama-like The Louvins. Paul read the following in a book about The Louvins-he has 2 but thinks the story might have been in the book In Close Harmony: The Story of The Louvin Brothers written by Charles Wolfe.
Charlie said him and Ira (his brother) would put out a new song they’d written-and by 12:00 that day Rebe & Rabe would have it down pat and be singing it in the next town-drawing in a crowd. Charlie said then him and Ira would go to a venue where Rebe & Rabe had performed recently-and folks would accuse them of stealing songs from Rebe & Rabe-when they were actually The Louvin Brother’s songs. It happened so often that The Louvins began to get a little irritated.
Charlie and Ira had the chance to hear Don’t Laugh-a song Rebe & Rabe were singing-and decided to be sneaky and give the other duo a taste of their own medicine. The Louvins recorded Don’t Laugh in 1957.
Pap and Paul do a pretty goog job on the song as well-take a listen and see if you don’t agree.
One other humorous story about the song: To say we are fans of The Louvin Brothers is an understatement-we adore their music-they are our heroes. Of course Pap has been a number one fan of theirs since he was young-much longer than Paul or me.
One day Paul and Pap were discussing the song Don’t Laugh-and Pap said he just knew The Louvin Brothers wrote the song. When Paul finally proved to him that they didn’t-Pap said with great disappointment “Well it looks like they could’ve if they’d tried.”
Did you tap your toes?
This post was originally published here on the Blind Pig in January of 2011.