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For nearly a decade after his first hit single, "Sweet Dreams," inhe was a reliable hitmaker, and many of his songs have become country classics -- they have been covered by a wide range of artists, including Patsy ClineRay CharlesKitty WellsEmmylou HarrisNeil Youngand Ronnie Milsap. His father, a railroad worker, died when Gibson was just two years old, and his mother remarried in the early '40s, when Don Gibson was still a boy -- by that time, the family survived as sharecroppers, but even as a boy the youngest Gibson hated farming, and as he grew older he made the decision to get as far away from it as possible.
He ceased attending school regularly after the second grade, a decision that he regretted in the years to come -- perhaps in compensation, Gibson subsequently became a voracious reader across much of his adult life.
And for all of his professed desire, even at a young age, to break away from a life on the farm, he was hindered by terrible emotional insecurity, LP).
Gibson was hopelessly shy all through life, defensive about his appearance -- to the point where, as a boy or a young man, he would avoid walking into places that were too crowded -- and also about his voice, which was characterized by a very bad stutter while he was growing up.
One escape that he had from those and other worries was the music he heard on the radio in the s and early '40s. Even as a young boy, he would listen to the music and try to visualize himself as a performer.
He took his first step toward this goal at 14 when he bought a guitar and learned some rudimentary chords. He was soon sitting with the instrument, watching and listening to other, older boys and men playing, and trying to pick up on what they were singing and playing. When he wasn't doing Known Only To Him - Don Gibson - No One Stands Alone (Vinyl, he was engaged in his other preferred pastime, making a living in the pool halls around Shelby as a teenage pool shark.
As he approached his mid-teens, Gibson 's playing advanced to the point where he was approached by Ned Costnera fiddle player, who began playing with him at Costner 's home. The informal duo soon became a trio with the addition of Curly Sisk on second guitar, and they were soon playing at the Sisk family's home, a boarding house where the three became regular entertainment for the Sisk family and their tenants on Saturday nights.
Before long, they even had a name, the Sons of the Known Only To Him - Don Gibson - No One Stands Alone (Vinylwith Gibson playing a washtub bass. They were good enough so that inwhen Gibson was 16 years old and Sisk only 14they were hired as a duo on WOHS, the local radio station.
And not long after that, Gibson as singer but still playing bass, though no longer an adapted washtub became the focal point of a new band put together by the station's program director, Milton Scarborough who played accordion in the group. They were barely paid anything, but the exposure did an enormous amount for the members, especially Gibsonwho was overcoming at least the most outward aspects of any Known Only To Him - Don Gibson - No One Stands Alone (Vinyl he was feeling.
He was still earning his living doing outside jobs, and the boys apparently didn't think in terms of where to go beyond WOHS. Then, infate took a hand when a radio salesman named Marshall Pack chanced to visit the station and heard the Hi-Lighters. He was impressed with the entire group but most especially with Gibson 's singing, and he, in turn, convinced Mercury Records producer Murray Nash that the group might be worth an audition.
When my eyes behold the stars This heart of mine is filled with wonder My poor mind cannot grasp their array But the hand that spilled them there All across the wide heaven Had a plan when He placed them that way [Chorus] Known only to Him Are the great hidden secrets I'll fear not the darkness when my flame shall dim I know not what the future holds But I know who holds the future It's a secret known only to Him In this world of fear and doubt On my knees I ask the question Why a lonely heavy cross I must bear?
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