Kathy Louvin, Writer for Martina McBride, Ricky Van Shelton & Others, Talks About Songwriting & Her Christian Album

Kathy Louvin

Born to a country music legend and growing up in Nashville during the heyday of the Grand Ole' Opry, Kathy Louvin truly is a living testimony to a family immersed in the tradition of creating and performing great American music. Her father is the late Ira Louvin, tenor half of Country Music Hall of Fame members, The Louvin Brothers. Her mom's side of the family was not lacking in musical destiny either.

Then, in the early eighties, she signed her first exclusive publishing contract and began getting cuts by major recording artists such as Randy Travis, Ricky Van Shelton, Confederate Railroad, Martina McBride, Dwight Yokam, Patty Loveless, and Rhonda Vincent. She is a member of BMI's prestigious 'Millionaire's Club'. Recently she won two 2004 Grammy Awards for her work as co-Executive Producer and performer on a shining tribute to her father and uncle entitled, 'Livin', Lovin', Losin', Songs of the Louvin Brothers' on Universal South Records. 

She and husband, producer Chuck Pearson, own and operate Honeyboy Productions, a full-scale music production company. Kathy has seen all the ups and downs of the music business. Almost crushed by the weight of bondage, she escaped only through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus! Check out her new book,Time Served: Freedom From Bondage: Why We Are Who We Are And How To Be Who We Want To Be and her new Christian CD, "Time Served"

Hallels:  Kathy, coming from such a rich musical family, how did your parents influence you as a songwriter and singer?

Growing up in a family that lived and breathed music, it was just there, like the blood in my veins. I never thought about it really, I just was. And I'm sure the constant playing and singing had something to do with it! And honestly speaking, the pain I endured as a child of two violent alcoholics, left me plenty of fodder for the mission. By the time I was a teenager, I swore off the music business. I associated pain with music and I didn't have what I needed [spiritually] to separate or understand it. But the music was in me. God put it there and it festered like an internal wound until finally, in 1988 I surrendered to it.

Hallels:  How did you start writing songs for artists like Patty Loveless, Ricky Van Shelton, Confederate Railroad, Dwight Yokoam and so forth?

After my 'surrender', in '88, the doors starting opening so fast I could hardly keep up. A friend introduced me to Steve Popovich, Sr, who was heading up Polygram Nashville at the time, and he just took me under his wing. I was hanging out at the label one afternoon rehearsing [for a benefit I was doing at Station Inn for 'Dream-Makers'] with a lady who just couldn't get the "Louvin" harmony down. About that time another lady marches back to the kitchen where we were and says, "Who's back here singing these Louvin Brother songs?" So as it turns out, she, Pamela Brown Hayes, [formally of an all-girl bluegrass band who did mostly Louvin tunes], sang with me at the benefit. We became fast friends and started writing together. She was a staff writer for Mel Tillis and when she started turning in the songs with my name on them, they offered me a deal. It was there I learned from one of the best ~ Mel Tillis. Our pub director, Ben Payne, set about pairing me with the best writers in town. The name didn't hurt either. It got me in any door I knocked on, but it was up to me to stay there.

Hallels:  One of my all time favourite songs of yours is "Keep It Between the Lines," recorded by Ricky Van Shelton.  How did you come to write that song?

I was a single mom to three boys for 12 years. And one night while I was cooking supper, my oldest sat at the table coloring. And it happened just like the song says, "mom won't you do one with me?" I said, "oh honey I'm so old I forgot how." [meaning I'm too busy right now! Lol] But he said, "I'll sit here beside you, it's easy you'll do fine if you just stay between the lines." I had a writing appointment the next day with a grammy award winning songwriter and it just flowed like honey. We always said God wrote that song.

Hallels:  Have you ever thought about recording all the songs you have had written for others? 

Ha, oh Lord yes. Most writers have, thought about it, or done it. We used to get frustrated and say, 'if I'm gonna get a cut I'll have to cut it myself!' But really I never had a desire to do the artist thing. I enjoy performing, I truly do, but I grew up on the road and I didn't like it then and I don't like it now. And remember, I had three kids all in elementary school during the most successful times of my writing career, so I wore a lot of hats.

Hallels:  Let's talk about your new Gospel album "Time Served," why did you decide to cut a Christian album?

I held a 30-year grudge against God. I am a believer, and I guess most folks who know me now would say I'm a Christian. At least most of the time. But the answer to this question is so long, let me just say, I encountered Christ at the jumping off place, which for me was 2006. I wrote a book, which is on Amazon/Kindle entitled "Time Served." It is my memoir, Volume One, Book One! And it tells the story of how this [gospel] journey began. But during this encounter, I made a promise that I haven't broken so far. And that was to have purpose. In everything I do I will consult the One who made me, and devote the gifts given to me, to carry a message. See for me, my purpose wasn't good enough. Just me wasn't carrying me to the place I needed to be. But as I began to make it about the Message, the light came on. And it still burns, so I will continue along this path until it burns out.

Hallels:  Of the tracks I have listen to so far, you seem to be so passionate in the way you were delivering these songs.  Did many of the songs on the record come off your own experiences?  

Thank you, and yes, every song comes from personal experience now. The song 'Secrets' is especially important. It was a message given to me to prepare me for losing my 19-year-old son this year, to suicide. Suicide is a demonic act in a spiritual battle. We are at war every day. Our mind is the battleground and we must have the armor to withstand it. Secrets exist in every family, and some are so powerful, they can take our very lives. 

Hallels:  What's next for you?  Are you currently writing for your next record?  Will it be Gospel or country? 

I am getting ready to record a new album. It will probably be categorized as Gospel, we'll have to wait and see! lol But these songs, like the ones on the current album are all message-driven [Americana/Bluegrass/Country/Gospel] and many will probably be called 'cross-over!' I'd just like to speak to the hearts with the words He gives me. That's where they all come from, the Great Writer.

Hallels:  Where can our readers go to find out more about you and your music? 

The book link is

The CD is at

I'm also on Reverbnation and Facebook.

Our website is



Tags : kathy louvin kathy louvin interview kathy louvin time served kathy louvin news kathy louvin new album ricky van shelton dwight yoakam martina mcbride Rhonda Vincent patty loveless randy travis confederate railroad

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