19 November 2003
Don Gibson, who once described himself as "a songwriter who sings rather than a singer who writes songs," has died in Nashville at the age of 75.
Two of Gibson's most famous songs "I Can't Stop Loving You" and "Oh Lonesome Me" were issued on opposite sides of the same single (on 45, RCA Victor 47-7133) in 1958; he had written them in a single afternoon in a Knoxville trailer park. In four and a half decades, Gibson charted over 80 country hits, sixteen of which also made the pop charts. And many acts, from the Searchers (who cut his "Sea of Heartbreak") to Patsy Cline ("Sweet Dreams") to Ray Charles (whose version of "I Can't Stop Loving You" was the biggest hit of 1962), found success with Don Gibson songs.
Slowly but surely, the Nashville I knew is being replaced by something else.