I Remember Being on the Radio 28 Years Ago Today When Keith Whitley Died [VIDEO]
I love the music of Keith Whitley. You can tell that by my Keith Whitley t shirt in the photo above. Here is how that love started. It was 1989 and I was just a year or so of into my career at K99. I was discovering and falling in love with all these great country artists that were just starting to emerge as superstars like a certain Kentucky bluebird named Keith Whitley. I was knocked out by this pure 'country as a tater voice'. THIS was the next superstar in country music without a doubt. He was flying high on the charts at the time. He had just had number one hits with "Don't Close Your Eyes" and "When You Say Nothing At All" and his new single "I'm No Stranger to the Rain" was hitting number as well. Keith was on fire. Then the unthinkable happened.
I can remember the day 28 years ago today. I was on the air and heard the old news teletype go off. I went to clear it and see what it was. I was shocked to see it was a breaking story concerning the death of Keith Whitley. My jaw hit the floor. How could this be true? There was so much to live for. He seemed to have it all, a beautiful wife and family and a red hot career and now it was all gone in the blink of an eye. This man had one of the greatest voices country music fans had ever heard and it was silenced way too early.
Keith died of alcohol poisoning on this date in 1989. He was here for such a short time but his music will impact country music forever. Thank you for the music Keith. You are truly missed but always remembered. Enjoy some of my favorite musical memories of this amazingly talented man.