Back in 1989, you could watch the Voice on CMT — and I’m talking about Vern Gosdin and his melancholy music video for “That Just About Does It.” Gosdin rightfully earned that nickname with a resonant baritone that could make you weep.
Gosdin grew up in Alabama, then moved to Los Angeles as a young adult to sing professionally with his brother, Rex. With a bluegrass background, they recorded with the likes of Gene Clark and Chris Hillman in the 1960s. A decade later, Vern Gosdin secured a solo deal through Elektra Records and enlisted Emmylou Harris and Janie Fricke to sing harmony on his early singles.
Although he bounced from label to label throughout his career, Gosdin’s hard country singing found a home at country radio. In the 1980s, he achieved No. 1 singles with “I Can Tell by the Way You Dance (You’re Gonna Love Me Tonight),” “Set ‘Em Up Joe” and “I’m Still Crazy.” He also recorded the 1989 CMA song of the year, the devastating “Chiseled in Stone.”
Gosdin wrote “Chiseled in Stone” and “That Just About Does It” with one of Nashville’s most celebrated songwriters, Max D. Barnes. Their other collaborations include “If You’re Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right),” “Way Down Deep,” “Slow Burning Memory” and “Do You Believe Me Now,” which all reached the Top 10 of the Billboard country chart in the 1980s.
Gosdin died in 2009, yet for traditional country fans, the Voice lives on. Watch the vintage music video for “That Just About Does It.”