Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Vern Gosdin, RIP

Over the weekend, a Roanoke subscriber complained that we had not written a story on the passing of country music singer and Woodland native Vern Gosdin. The e-mailer wrote:
I subscribe to your paper to keep up with things of regional interest. How could you not report on country music star Vern Gosdin passing away? He was born and raised in Randolph County (Woodland to be exact) and has many relatives and fans in your coverage area. If by some chance I missed your report on his passing I'm not the only one. Thank you for your time.

Ours was a sin of omission, not commission. Our editors had simply missed the news of Gosdin's death, even though it warranted obituaries in the Los Angeles Times and Billboard magazine.
To us, the complaint was more like a news tip. This morning's paper had our obituary, nicely penned by staffer Nick Cenegy:
"The Voice" sang country music with bare-boned honesty.
Randolph County residents and country music fans remember Woodland-native Vern Gosdin, 74, who died in Nashville early last week, as a singer and songwriter whose lyrics were at times aching with lonesome and other times soaring with love-struck.
Friends remember him as an ordinary country guy, a lover of fried okra mixed with cream corn, who was relatable and intelligent.
Gosdin's country music wasn't the slick-marketed alternative rock blend that has since blurred the lines between Nashville and Los Angeles.

I e-mailed our Roanoke reader to offer thanks for sending along the tip. The response from reader was, "Thank you, you have redeemed yourself."
That's good to know.