“Satan is Real”..The true story! From the beginning, to the end! A must read..


Heidi Metcalfe, Associate Director of Publicity
212-207-7486 | Heidi.metcalfe@harpercollins.com

The Ballad of the Louvin Brothers

With Benjamin Whitmer

A foreword from Kris Kristofferson

“This memoir has a raw honesty, genuine grit, common sense and smokin’ down-home flavor that Louvin fans will relish.” – Publishers Weekly

“A real classic of Americana” – Booklist, Starred Review

Charlie Louvin, hailed in his obituary by the New York Times as “a member of one of the pre-eminent brother acts in country music and an inspiration to several generations of rock musicians” was a good, God-fearing, church-going, Christian gospel singer. His brother Ira was famously not.

Now, in collaboration with Igniter Books comes one of America’s great untold stories: the true saga of the Louvin Brothers, a mid-century Southern gothic Cain and Abel, and one of the greatest country duos of all time. In SATAN IS REAL: The Ballad of the Louvin Brothers (It Books/Igniter Books; January 3, 2012; Hardcover; $22.99), by Charlie Louvin with Benjamin Whitmer, the beautiful and tragic saga of the legendary Louvin Brothers is finally being told.

Born in Henagar, Alabama, Ira and Charlie grew up picking cotton, hunting with Papa, and singing songs with Mama, the daughter of a Baptist preacher. With their papa on a claw hammer banjo, music became the brothers’ pastime, perfected in the halls of a Sacred Harp church where the brothers first experimented with what would later become their trademark harmonies. As told to Benjamin Whitmer, SATAN IS REAL captures the authentic voice of the hardscrabble and hardworking brothers, who eventually turned to music as a way out of the cotton fields. Music became their escape from life on the farm – earning their first $50 for playing all day on a mule-drawn merry-go-round at a Fourth of July celebration – and became an entrée into fame.

SATAN IS REAL charts the Louvin Brothers rise, first as teenagers when they became the 4:30 AM regulars on WDEF, Chattanooga radio after winning a singing contest, and later as adults who grappled with the trappings of success. With stints in Knoxville and Memphis, the brothers started to get gigs around the country – including one in Dyess, Arkansas, where Charlie met a thirteen-year-old Johnny Cash. Too poor to come inside and hear the show, Charlie took a shine to the kid and let him listen from a bench near the stage. Cash watched Charlie eat a few soda crackers right before he went on to perform, and, many years later, when the two became friends, Cash revealed that he always ate soda crackers right before he went on stage for years because he thought that was how Charlie perfected his voice.
From 1952 – 1955, the brothers recorded nothing but gospel for Capital Records, auditioning relentlessly to fulfill their dream of playing at the Grand Ole Opry. When it finally did come true and they performed at the Opry for the first time in 1955, Charlie writes: “it just kept rolling, getting better and better.”

Still pegged as a solely gospel act, the brothers began itching to try secular music and their new label let them take a chance on a song Charlie perfected while serving in Korea – “When I Stop Dreaming.” It was their first single after they joined the Opry and it made it into the top ten on Billboard, and has been recorded by everybody from Johnny Cash to Ray Charles. But it was then that their troubles began. Ira’s heavy drinking and temper tantrums, disabling shows when he was disabled on whiskey, became a liability for the driven and sober Charlie, and here SATAN IS REAL explores the tragedy of the harmony team and details their growing divide.

A hard drinker, Ira was known for frequently smashing his mandolin onstage (even as it pained his brother to watch him do it); Ira was banned from performing at the Grand Ole Opry for several weeks after a scandal in which his wife shot him six times when he tried to choke her with a telephone cord; a name-calling altercation with Elvis Presley soured relations while they were on tour together (after Ira called the young rock-and-roller’s music “crap”), and brother Charlie witnessed it all. Although he wasn’t sure why he stayed with Ira as long as he did after he started to go downhill with all the drinking, Charlie reveals how he finally screwed up the courage to leave in SATAN IS REAL.

The Louvin Brothers, polar opposites who were in harmony only when singing, offer a dark and complex version of the timeless brother-against-brother story, spinning out of control against a backdrop of increasing country music success. Ira lived fast and died young, and SATAN IS REAL tells the story of the fatal car accident that took Ira’s life in 1965.

Packed with pictures and colorful anecdotes about the Louvins’ encounters with all of the country greats, including Hank Williams (too drunk to know that he had hundred dollar bills literally spilling out of his pockets), Bill Monroe (who sang at Ira’s funeral), and Kris Kristofferson (who was a janitor at studio when he stealthily passed a song to Charlie), among others, SATAN IS REAL is timed to the re-release of the brothers’ iconic 1960 album, Satan Is Real, which was reissued to great acclaim this fall. It was the brothers’ best-known record, not only for its iconic cover (also featured on the cover of this book) but for songs like “The Christian Life” and “The Kneeling Drunkard’s Plea,” famously covered by the Byrds and Johnny Cash, respectively. The reissue was packaged with a star-studded curatorial “best of” featuring classic original Louvin Brothers recordings handpicked by the likes of Beck, Emmylou Harris, Will Oldham, Devendra Banhart, Zooey Deschanel, Jim James, Dolly Parton and many more. The Louvin Brothers were an inspiration to so many musicians and yet their fascinating story, of brother-against-brother, has yet to be told.

With a foreword from Kris Kristofferson, who says “this autobiography is as real and as moving as his music,” SATAN IS REAL is the incredible tale of the sixty-plus-year career of Charlie Louvin, the timeless murder ballads of the Louvin Brothers, and two brothers bound together by love, hate, alcohol, blood, and music.

About the Authors:

Born July 7, 1927 in Henager, Alabama, Charlie Louvin recorded from 1947 to 1962 with his brother Ira as the Louvin Brothers. In 1955, they became members of the Grand Ole Opry and churned out thirteen hits on the Billboard country chart, including “When I Stop Believing,” “Cash on the Barrelhead,” and “Knoxville Girl.” Charlie’s solo career began in 1964 with a top five hit “I Don’t Love You Anymore,” and he followed it with twenty-nine Billboard charting singles and four Grammy nominations. Charlie Louvin passed away on January 26, 2011. For an interview with Charlie filmed shortly before his death, please visit: http://vimeo.com/16150599 For more on the Satan is Real album reissue, please visit: http://lightintheattic.net/artists/366-the-louvin-brothers

Benjamin Whitmer is the author of the novel Pike and a lifelong country music fan. He lives and writes in Denver, Colorado.

“Rattlin The Devil’s Cage.” DVD! Order now!

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Charlie battled the Devil himself, and won.
On December 3, 2011 Devil’s Cage will release their film. Exactly one year from Charlie’s last paying gig at the FooBar in Nashville, TN. It was a unique night, a mixed crowd of kids, elders, hippies and rockers crammed into the small venue to watch something Charlie had done for more than 60 years: Grace the stage and hit those notes. That evening, Charlie was weak off stage, but his presence was felt, and his fans chanted “Charlie, Charlie…” Leaving chills on the arms of those who knew his story well. This would be Charlie’s last paid gig. The crew sat down with Charlie the next day and he shared many stories, some new, some old, but he talked with a clarity you wouldn’t expect from a man battling cancer at 83. The film chronicles Charlie’s battle growing up as a poor Alabama kid, to rising fame with his brother Ira, crashing, only to rise again in his 80’s with an indie resurgence. 

For the complete press release & more info: http://www.louvinfilm.com/press

Copyright © Devil’s Cage Productions 2011, All rights reserved.

Louvin Pre-order Update

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Hello All.

We want to give you an update on your orders. We appreciate your support and patience, we’ve been working nonstop on the film and we couldn’t be more proud of the tribute that has taken shape. We are tweaking the final edit, finalizing packaging and will be ordering the DVDs this month. We will identify the shipping date and release once we have confirmation from the duplicator of when they will be in the Louvin Family’s hands to fulfill the orders.

I’m attaching a glimpse of the packaging. Thank you again for the support from our entire crew and the Louvin Family.

Keith Neltner
Blake Judd
Brian Steege
Todd Tue
+Devil’s Cage Productions



Charlie Louvin 1927 – 2011, Music Pioneer


Charlie LouvinWith the passing of Charlie Louvin, the world has lost more than a musical pioneer and gifted showman; we have lost one of the kindest souls I’ve had the pleasure to have known. Everyone who knew Charlie knew what a giving man he was, but when you put all of the personal stories together, it adds up to far beyond what one might have imagined.

He had even gone as far as borrowing money from the bank to lend to a friend in need. Charlie was at any benefit, that he was asked to perform at,for friend or stranger; even when it cost him a paying gig, which it often did.

When a friend of his was unable to put food on the table, Charlie was by every week with groceries for this man’s family. He mowed many a lawn for bereaved families that had recently lost a loved one.

He believed in helping in small ways whenever he had the opportunity. He was always collecting soda tabs for Ronald McDonald house wherever he was, though it meant picking through garbage to get to them many times. He was a very humble man who was true to his roots in both music and life. And he was a man of his word; a hand-shake meant as much to him as a signed contract.

Charlie stuck to his guns throughout his career; this choice did not always make him the most popular singer in the industry. He was a Legend in his own time, even though this means little to the Country Music coats and ties of today, who appreciate a quick buck much more than talent.

Charlie was a warm-hearted fellow who was always quick with a joke. He was a great storyteller. This man had a great love for life and kept his sense of humor to the end. Charlie’s warm smile will be greatly missed, as will his continued musical contributions. He was called to be a man of music, but he always left room to be a man of God.

Judd Films Moving Forward on Charlie Louvin Film

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We want to share our deepest sympathy with the Louvin Family. Our time spent with Charlie, while short, has left a lasting impact on each of us. He had a profound warmth and energy that everyone felt in the room. We hope to preserve his legacy and honor him as the remarkable human being he is.

We’re very close to wrapping filming and moving into post production. Last week we traveled to Nashville and interviewed George Jones, Marty Stuart, and John McCrea about their friend, peer, and influence.

Moving forward we are launching a website www.louvinfilm.com In the next month you will be able to pre-order the DVD, donate directly to Charlie’s family and learn about the status of the project. We will be producing a limited run of 1000 DVDs and all proceeds go to Mrs. Charlie Louvin.

JuddFIlms and Neltner Creative are directing Charlie Louvin: Still Rattlin’ the Devil’s Cage. Edited by Milk Products Media and Director. Director of Photography by Brian Steege. Screen writer Jeff Chambers.

for more info: louvinfilm@juddfilms.com

Louvin Project Rattlin’ On

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Nashville Crew

George Jones and Others Working on the Louvin Film

The Charlie Louvin film crew spent some time in Nashville Jan. 20th talking with Mr. George Jones at his home, on the set with Marty Stuart, and John McCrea of Cake at the historic Ryman. They were gracious enough to be a part of our film, talk about some great history, personal moments on the road, and Louvin Brothers’ impact on their music and their lives. The filming will wrap after a couple more surprise guest interviews and be moving into post production, targeting a spring release. Please check back often as we’ll share how you can pre-order a copy and help Charlie’s family out.

Editor’s Note: Since this story was submitted, Charlie Louvin has passed from us. Hopefully, this movie project with not only bring honor to Charlie and his legacy, but we hope it will also serve to help Charlie’s family to defray the costs of his battle with cancer. Rest in Peace, Charlie.

JuddFilms and Neltner Creative Direct Film/DVD for Charlie Entitled “Still Rattlin’ the Devil’s Cage”

Louvin Rattlin Images

The project is funded via kickstarter.com, an online creative forum for folks/fans to donate to projects. The team raised a $3K+ production budget to cover hard costs for travel as well as produce 1K DVD’s for Charlie to sell on tour and right here on his site. The entire creative team, is donating their services, Judd/Neltner, Brian Steege(Director of Photography), Milk Products (editing), Jeff Chamber (screenwriting) to help Charlie raise money for medical expenses.

The crew has filmed Charlie’s 50th Anniversary show of “Satan is Real” Dec. 3 at the Foobar in Nashville and conducted an interview at his home. Special guests will be announced when filming continues in Nashville in Jan. We’ll be keeping you posted here and the tentative release date is Spring ’11.

In the mean time you can pick up one of Keith Neltner’s prints that commemorated the night and will be featured in the film. www.neltnercreative.com All proceeds will go to the film’s production costs.

If you have any questions or would like to get involved, contact Blake Judd at blakejudd@juddfilms.com

The Battles Rage On!

Album Cover for the Battle Rages On Showing Charlie Louvin Smoking a Cigarette
Charlie Louvin’s “The Battles Rage On” will be released Tuesday, November 9, 2010. The album is available to pre-order now, but will not be shipped until the release date.

The Battles Rage On is a sweeping and emotional collection of war songs dating back to the American Civil War, and includes the talents of special guests Del McCoury and Jamie Dailey.

Louvin, a Country Music Hall of Famer, is revered as a true icon of country music. He began his career as one half of The Louvin Brothers, and has released nearly 20 albums spanning over four decades. His music has influenced such acclaimed artists as Emmylou Harris, Gram Parsons, and The Raconteurs.

The new Charlie Louvin music video featuring Del McCoury, from the True North Records release The Battles Rage Onhttp://vimeo.com/16146471

In 2004, Livin’, Lovin’ Losin': Songs of the Louvin Brothers a musical tribute to the Louvin Brothers featuring James Taylor, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, and Johnny Cash won two GRAMMY® Awards for Best Country Album and, Best Country Collaboration.

Update on Charlie’s Surgery


To everyone who has been concerned about Charlie Louvin, his surgery and his recovery, the following is an update from his son, Sonny Louvin.

Dad came home from the hospital on July 30. The surgery did not go as planned. He will begin using alternative methods of treatment, going forward.

He is home recuperating and gaining back his strength.  He is in great spirits, looking forward to singing again, and especially Hosting the Midnight Jamboree on Aug. 21st.  Please continue to keep him in your prayers and prayer lines, asking the Good Lord to bless him with a speedy recovery.

Charlie Wrestles Pancreatic Cancer


As Charlie Louvin turns 83 this July, he is discovering a new foe. He recently went in to see the doctor with what seemed to be a minor complaint, and came back with a diagnosis of stage 2 pancreatic cancer.

Suddenly, the success of his soon-to-be-released, new CD is not nearly as important as Charlie’s victory over one of the most virulent forms of cancer. He has been through a lot in his 83 years, but this hurdle is one he was not counting on.

On July 22nd, Charlie will go in for a complex, six hour surgery at the Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville. It’s called the Whipple Procedure.

Charlie’s family and friends are encouraged that he will be in good hands, but they definitely covet your prayers.

Charlie’s Performance Schedule

Of course, Charlie won’t be able to perform for a few weeks after his surgery, but, being the resolute, tough guy that he is, he tentatively hopes he can be back on stage by August 21st, 2010.