We’ve all known Don Gibson for his rich baritone. In addition to that, he’s famous for the way he combined plain language with fascinating tunes to convey powerful emotions in his songs that were mostly written about solitude and sadness pertaining to love. This gained him the nickname “the sad poet.”
Don Gibson then devised one of the most enduringly successful careers – being the pioneer of the Nashville Sound. Today, let’s celebrate one of the most popular and influential forces in the ’50s and ’60s. Here are some interesting facts about Don Gibson.
1. He’s a native of Shelby, North Carolina.
Born as Donald Eugene Gibson on April 3, 1928, Gibson was the youngest of five children in a family that got by as sharecroppers.
2. He dropped out of school in the second grade.
Gibson was raised by a poor working-class family during the period when education was seen as, well, not that important. What’s even worse is that his father, who was a railroad worker, died when he was only two years old. His mother then remarried in the early 1940s.
3. He developed an early love of music.
When he was fourteen, he bought his own guitar and learned a few chords. He also started working in local clubs while still in high school. His biggest influences were the mellow country sounds of Red Foley and Tennessee Ernie Ford.
4. He worked on a series of jobs.
Gibson worked as a soda jerk, baby diaper delivery man, and dishwasher to put food on the table while pursuing music.
5. He suffered from alcohol and drug abuse.
Indeed, success came with personal setbacks. Fortunately, Gibson cleaned up his act and returned to music in the early 1970s.
6. He married twice.
In 1958, Gibson married Polly Bratcher Gibson. However, the marriage ended in a bitter divorce five years later. In 1967, Gibson gave love another chance when he met and married Barbara Patterson, who helped him manage to overcome his chemical dependencies.
7. He was a shy person.
Gibson was defensive with his appearance that he would even avoid walking into crowded places. He also suffered from a very bad stutter while growing up.
8. He is close friends with another country music heavyweight, Chet Atkins.
The musician even produced some of Gibson’s songs.
9. He’s an animal lover.
In fact, his wife revealed that Gibson would buy hamburgers at Mcdonald’s to feed hungry dogs he spotted.
10. There is a theatre named in his honor.
The Don Gibson Theatre showcases artifacts and pictures of Gibson’s career as it welcomes various entertainers that range from comedians to country stars.
While he passed away in 2003, Don Gibson songs were a truly exceptional body of work he left behind – and they never failed to touch the hearts of millions of us. The country music legend will never be forgotten.