1955 - 1989
Born and raised in Kentucky, Keith began singing as a child, winning a talent contest at the age of four and by the time he was eight, he learned how to play guitar. That same year he was began singing on a West Virginia radio station. At age 13 he formed his first bluegrass band, and a few years later, he formed the Lonesome Mountain Boys with his high-school friend, Ricky Skaggs. In 1970. both Keith and Ricky joined up with the Clinch Mountain Boys for two years, recording a total of seven albums, including 1971's "Crying from the Cross" which was named the Bluegrass Album of the Year.
Keith chose to pursue a solo career with RCA records in 1982, and released his debut album "Hard Act to Follow" in 1984. The following year, he released "L.A. to Miami", a more commercial affair which spawned the hit single "Miami, My Amy." After that single peaked early in 1986, he had three back-to-back Top 10 hits -- "Ten Feet Away," "Homecoming '63," and "Hard Livin'." Late in 1986, he married Lorrie Morgan.
Keith solidified his commercial standing with the 1988 release of "Don't Close Your Eyes" The first three singles -- "Don't Close Your Eyes," "When You Say Nothing At All," and "I'm No Stranger to the Rain" -- were all number one hits.
his final album, "I Wonder Do You Think of Me", was released shortly after his death and it's title track, reached number one, as did its follow up, "It Ain't Nothin;" another single from the album, "I'm Over You," reached number three in 1990
On May 9, 1989 Keith Whitley passed away.
"Keith Whitley loved singing
country music."..."He is sadly missed but fondly remembered."
Garth Fundis -- Production Director
"Keith Whitley's genius lay in his
ability to reach through the lyrics of a song..." "...with a degree of
truth and understanding that made his versions the only ones that mattered."
Edward Morris -- Billboard Magazine
Whitley was just beginning to emerge as a superstar at the time of his death in 1989. Throughout the next decade, his reputation as both a performer and writer continued to grow, as other artists had hits with his songs and posthumous recordings climbed into the Top 10.
© 1999 Eddie Bear Productions