If there’s only one artist in the history of country music whose singing is so revered, it’s definitely Vern Gosdin. His graceful, smooth, gentle voice marked him out as one of the finest singers to ever appear in the genre. The marvelous mournful baritone featured in Vern Gosdin songs is just hard to miss!
In addition to bringing those country ballads to life, Gosdin was also one of the most talented songwriters — and that gift was recognized when he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
With such a vibrant career, it only makes sense that we celebrate his greatest hits. Check them out below.
1. Chiseled in Stone
This is definitely one of the legendary tearjerkers in the genre. Written by Vern Gosdin and Max D. Barnes, the song tells the story of a man having domestic troubles. He met an older man in a bar who essentially told him to treasure his relationship while he could.
But what made the song stand out is its iconic chorus, which is based on the true story of Barnes, who lost his 18-year-old son in a car accident in 1975. “Chiseled in Stone” won the Country Music Association’s Song of the Year award in 1989.
2. Set ‘Em Up Joe
The song was written by some of the biggest names in country music history! Gosdin co-wrote “Set ‘Em Up Joe” with friends Hank Cochran, Buddy Cannon, and Dean Dillon at Cochran’s cabin along the Little Pigeon River near Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
It eventually became a tribute to Ernest Tubb’s 1941 hit and signature song, “Walking The Floor Over You.” The four of them had a great admiration for the country music legend.
3. I Can Tell by the Way You Dance (You’re Gonna Love Me Tonight)
When the song was first presented to Gosdin, he felt it was too rock ‘n’ roll for him that he shelved the song for two years later. “I Can Tell by the Way You Dance” was released in 1984 as the lead single off Gosdin’s album, There is a Season, and became the first of his three No. 1 hits on the country chart.
4. This Ain’t My First Rodeo
Gosdin co-wrote the song “This Ain’t My First Rodeo” with Cochran and Barnes, but he said it came to life when a carpenter he hired dropped the song’s title as an expression. He immediately went into the house and jotted that line down. Thanks to his talented friends, the song explaining a tale of experience came to life.
5. What Would Your Memories Do
Written by Dillon and Cochran, the song was released as the second single off Gosdin’s album, There Is a Season. It was then quick to peak at No. 10 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.
George Strait also recorded the song in the 1980s; however, his version was never released. It was later included in the 1995 box set, Strait Out of the Box.
6. Till the End
Gosdin wrote this heartbreaking ballad with his then-wife, Cathy. It tells the story of a man who’s about to separate from his woman. While the pain may lessen as time goes by, he knows their memories together will never dim. The song ranked No. 7 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.
Three decades after Gosdin released the song, country star Alan Jackson recorded his version as a duet with Lee Ann Womack.
7. I’m Still Crazy
Gosdin finds himself singing about the pain of being left behind by the love of your life in “I’m Still Crazy,” – which he said hurt him to the bone. Undoubtedly, a lot of country fans relate to the song that it reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Song chart. It was Gosdin’s final No. 1.
He wrote the song with his son Steve and country music songwriter Buddy Cannon.
8. That Just About Does It
Gosdin comes with a warning in “That Just About Does It” as he tells the fruitless efforts of a man trying to fix things up with his lover; however, whenever he does, he always ends up failing. The heartbreaking ballad remains popular among country music lovers today.
9. If You’re Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right)
Here’s another song Gosdin co-wrote with Barnes, which sings about a man begging his wife that if she’s going to break his heart all to pieces, she might as well just do it the right way! Pretty sure a lot of fans sympathized with the song’s message that it reached No. 5 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.
10. Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud, Loud Music)
“Dim Lights, Thick Smoke” was originally recorded by the bluegrass duo Flatt & Scruggs. Since then, several others followed – including Conway Twitty, Ricky Skaggs, Dwight Yoakam, and of course, Gosdin. His version reached No. 20 on the country chart.
More Songs From That Prove He’s One of The Finest Singers
Truly, Vern Gosdin is one of the country music royalties and most influential artists. Here are some more of his hits that you need to check out.
So, which among these Vern Gosdin songs do you like the most?