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Don Gibson 

Born Donald Eugene Gibson on 4/3/28 in Shelby North Carolina. Work local clubs and radio while in high school. Moved to Knoxville in 1953 and worked on KNOX Barn Dance radio series. Wrote many many hits . Joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1958 

 Songwriter, singer Don Gibson dies
Country Music Hall Of Fame Inductee 
2001

1928 - 2003 

November 18, 2003

Don Gibson, an elementary school dropout who wrote and recorded country standards like "I Can't Stop Loving You", has died, his lawyer said. He was 75.

Gibson died at Baptist Hospital, said Richard Frank, who is also a longtime friend of the Grand Ole Opry star.

Gibson's songs used plain language and riveting melodies to communicate strong emotions. He sang in a rich baritone and usually wrote about solitude and sadness involving love, earning him the nickname "the sad poet".

"Simple is the only way I can write," he once said.

Gibson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001.

Born on April 3, 1928, Gibson was a poor boy from Shelby, North Carolina, who dropped out of school in second grade. But he became a songwriting genius who sold millions of records.

"The only thing I was any good at was music," he said in a 1997 interview.

Between 1958 and the mid-1960s, Gibson's records and his compositions, including Sweet Dreams and Oh Lonesome Me, were hits for himself and many other performers.  

I Can't Stop Loving You was recorded by more than 700 artists, but Ray Charles had the big pop version in 1962.

Gibson and others helped create the "Nashville Sound" in the 1960s - clean, uncluttered music that remains an influence.

Somewhere along the way, the moody, shy kid from a sharecropping family began playing guitar. When a friend came home from Paris after World War II with records by the jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, Gibson was captivated, and was experimenting with different styles by his mid-teens.

A friend helped him land a performing job with a Knoxville radio station. But things weren't what Gibson expected: The fans wanted old-time country, not Gibson's brand of crooning.

Gibson hung on to the radio job but struggled on $US30 a week earned playing beer joints. One day after a radio show, Gibson started humming a melody and playing with words - not writing anything down at first, just seeing where the tune would lead.

It was the beginning of a classic - the haunting Sweet Dreams, made famous by Australian Patsy Cline in 1963.

On June 7, 1957, he wrote two of country music's greatest songs: I Can't Stop Loving You and Oh Lonesome Me.

Number One Hits 

  1. Oh Lonesome Me 2/17/58

  2. Blue Blue Day 6/9/58

  3. Woman (Sensuous Woman) 6/10/70

 

Revised: September 03, 2007

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