1918 - 2008
Born Richard Edward Arnold on a farm near Henderson, Tennessee, He began playing the guitar when he was only 7. By the time he was a teenager he was found performing in beer halls and cafés and area radio stations. Soon he became lead singer of Pee Wee King’s Golden West Cowboys, until he struck out on his own and as the "Tennessee Plowboy".
Having sold more than 85 million recordings over seven decades, Eddy was the first real crossover artist. His smooth vocals appealed to a large audience.
“I’ve never thought of
myself as a country and western singer,” ... “With the type material
I do, I’m really a pop music artist.” He added, “I want my songs to
be accepted by everyone.”
Eddy Arnold 1968
He was among the first country singers to perform in the casino rooms in Las Vegas, and one of the first country stars to appear on network TV, and eventually got his own show.
The late Dinah Shore once described his voice as like "warm butter and syrup being poured over wonderful buttermilk pancakes."
He was elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1966, and truly holds the title of "legend".
Just how big was Eddie Arnold? Let's try and put it into perspective…we're talking all time top chart performer by most standards… most records on the charts, most top tens, most weeks at number 1… He was country's top selling vocalist until Garth came along… Furthermore, he is the only performer ever to be elected into the Country Music Hall of fame before winning CMA's Entertainer of the Year award. He was the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year in 1967 and was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1966. He scored a whopping 92 Top Ten hits on the Billboard Country Singles chart, more than any artist in history.
Eddy Arnold, whose mellow baritone voice on songs like "Make the World Go Away" made him one of the most successful country singers in history, passed away May 8, 2008, just 7 days short of his 90th birthday.
© 2008 Eddie Bear Productions