By the time they reached their commercial zenith in the mid-'50s, the Louvin Brothers were performing a mix of gospel and secular music to the accompaniment of a full backing band. Early in their career, however, the group performed primarily as a guitar/mandolin duet, presenting a repertoire made up almost exclusively of original gospel songs. SONGS THAT TELL A STORY captures this early version of the Louvins in two wonderful radio performances from 1952.
The setting may be different, but all the elements that lifted the Louvins to the pinnacle of the country world were already in place by the time these recordings were made. Their harmony singing is impeccable and transcendent; the quality of the group's compositions matches their performances perfectly. Nearly all of the songs here are originals--the radio program was in part a vehicle to sell songbooks--but when the Louvins reach beyond their own catalog, it is invariably for a knockout like "Sinner You Better Get Ready." For fans of the group, SONGS THAT TELL A STORY is an indispensable recording. For all other country fans, it really ought to be.