WATCH: Ferlin Husky’s Timeless Hit "Gone" Live at the Grand Ole Opry in 1957

Step back in time to 1957 and witness a moment in country music history. Ferlin Husky’s legendary performance of “Gone” at the Grand Ole Opry captivated audiences and solidified his place in the annals of country music. Written by Smokey Rogers, “Gone” became Husky’s second No. 1 hit on the country charts, where it reigned for ten weeks and spent a total of 27 weeks charting.

“Gone” was a groundbreaking single, not just for its chart-topping success but for its pioneering production style. Recorded in Nashville at Bradley Studios, the song is often cited as the first example of the Nashville Sound. This innovative approach combined Husky’s distinctive vocals with echo, sparse instrumental backing, and the vocal harmonies of the Jordanaires and soprano Millie Kirkham. The result was a dramatic, polished sound that set a new standard for country music production.

The impact of “Gone” extended beyond the country charts. The single crossed over to the Hot 100, peaking at No. 4, and sold over one million copies, earning a gold disc. This widespread appeal helped to bring country music to a broader audience and showcased Husky’s versatility as an artist.

Before recording “Gone,” Husky was a regular performer at the Grand Ole Opry. The success of the song catapulted him to national fame, leading to appearances on major television programs such as Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, Kraft Television Theater, The Ed Sullivan Show, and talk shows hosted by Steve Allen, Johnny Carson, and Merv Griffin. Although he had to relinquish his Opry slot, Husky’s television exposure introduced him to millions of new fans.

The influence of “Gone” persisted through the years, inspiring numerous cover versions. In 1972, Joey Heatherton brought the song back to the charts, peaking at No. 24 on the US Hot 100 and No. 25 in Canada. Ronnie McDowell’s 1980 rendition also reached the Top 40 on the country charts, and The Fleetwoods included a cover on their 1993 greatest hits album.

Ferlin Husky had previously recorded “Gone” under the name Terry Preston, but it was the 1957 version that became iconic.

For country music enthusiasts and new listeners alike, this Opry performance is a must-see, capturing the essence of an era and the talent of an unforgettable artist.

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