Appalachia Music

Seven Year Blues

The louvin brothers

It’s hard for me to pick a favorite Louvin Brother’s song but Seven Year Blues would certainly make the top 10 list. In Close Harmony: The Story of the Louvin Brothers written by Charles K. Wolfe has an interesting quote from Charlie Louvin about the first Decca session the Louvins ever did which included the song Seven Year Blues.

“We cut that session in eight or nine minutes. We’d waited out in the hall [of the Tulane Hotel]. Lonzo and Oscar [an Opry comedy duo] were in there recording and having all kinds of problems getting their song all together. And we went in, after waiting until three o’clock in the morning for the studio. Went in and started the session and went straight through it. We were cutting from a microphone straight on to a disc. The first one we cut, they accepted. Of course, I’m not saying it couldn’t have been better. But we cut it on the first take, then went on and did the same thing for “Seven Year Blues.” Ira and I had been singing it so much we knew it forwards and backwards and sideways.”

Recording the complete session in 8 or 9 minutes is beyond impressive. I’m pretty sure the Blind Pig Gang could never manage that. Pap is always telling us Roy Acuff claimed if you start a song more than twice you just need to quit! And let me tell you there are plenty of times we start a song more than twice only to have it still fall off the tracks before we complete it.

Pap and Paul did manage to finish the Seven Year Blues with some throat clearing and yawning along the way. Check it out and see if you like the song as much as I do.

I hope you enjoyed the song. I love the mournful tune and words, but mostly I love how the high tenor highlights Pap’s voice much like it did Ira Louvin’s.


*Source: In Close Harmony: The Story of The Louvin Brothers written by Charles Wolfe.

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  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    March 31, 2014 at 11:57 am

    the Wilson brothers were as good as the luv- ans brothers and sounded a lot like them. We sure have enjoyed them brothers both set so long.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    March 30, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Enjoyed the song this morning. I hope this little cold front with the snow flurries didn’t bring on the blues…
    The sun is shining here and hope the rest of the week it just gets better.
    I loved the yawns, throat clearing and especially that glance that Paul gave, looking behind his back! So funny! He kept on with his keeping on and finished playing. I loved the harmony too…
    Thanks Tipper,
    Great Sunday post,
    PS…I don’t know if you have heard of her, but we have a little gal here in East Tennessee that is beginning to make a name for herself singing the blues…you can catch her on you tube…My favorite song that she does is the one she and her Mama wrote “Little Weeping Willow Tree”…her name is Emi Sunshine Hamilton…check her out when you get the chance…she played and sang at the Sweetwater Flea Market where we used to have booths and sold our antique glassware! So young to be singing the rockabilly blues! Only 9, I heard!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 30, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    I did enjoy Seven Year Blues but I really liked it because it led me to “Blackberry Blossom” with Paul picking the guitar and Mark on the mandolin. I listen to a lot of Blind Pig stuff on youtube but had never heard it before. Paul does some amazing picking on it and Mark is almost as good on the mandolin.

  • Reply
    March 30, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Loved it.

  • Reply
    March 30, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Hauntingly beautiful!
    Thank you on this Sunday morning.

  • Reply
    March 30, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Such a beautiful rendition! Enjoyable!

  • Reply
    March 30, 2014 at 9:51 am

    The throat clearing and yawning didn’t take away from the song one bit. Pap and Paul would make the Louvin Brothers proud!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    March 30, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Beautiful as always

  • Reply
    steve in tn
    March 30, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Everything old is new again. Nice song and rendition. Saw a sign this week…grandma bought it…mommy threw it out and i bought it at an antique store.

  • Reply
    Gina S
    March 30, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Lovely to see a family sharing music. I recall as a child first hearing the term “making music.” My family members weren’t musically gifted thus visiting a home where the family shared and celebrated playing and singing delighted me. Your father and brother blend voices to please the ear and ease the soul.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike
    March 30, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Tipper: It has been a long time since I heard that “Seven Year Blues” – maybe 3X7 years. But the fellows did it good!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    March 30, 2014 at 7:52 am

    That was cool,, that seemed like we were in the room with you all,,nothing new everybody clears their throat and everybody yawns,,, good job as always…

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