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Music: Keith Whitley
Keith Whitley (1954-1989) was a Country Music singer known for his honky-tonk stylings. Whitley started off small with a few gigs in bluegrass bands, one of which was the Clinch Mountain Boys. After moving to Nashville in The Eighties, he signed with RCA Records. His first few singles charted poorly, but by 1986, he had scored his first Top 10 hit with "Ten Feet Away". Whitley was long troubled with alcoholism and depression, and met his untimely death at age 34 from alcohol poisoning.

Despite his death, Whitley had enough material in the vaults to keep charting and releasing albums as late as 1995. Some of his songs also appeared on the multi-artist album Keith Whitley: Tribute, which otherwise consisted mainly of famous artists covering his songs. His career, though short-lived, was one of the most influential and critically-acclaimed in country music.

Albums:

  • A Hard Act to Follow (EP) (1984)
  • L.A. to Miami (1985)
  • Don't Close Your Eyes (1988)
  • I Wonder Do You Think of Me (1989)
  • Kentucky Bluebird (1991)note 
  • Wherever You Are Tonight (1995)note 

Tropes present in his work:

  • B-Side: The B-sides of "Ten Feet Away", "Homecoming '63", and "I Wonder Do You Think of Me" "Nobody in His Right Mind Would've Left Her", "On the Other Hand", and "Brother Jukebox", respectively were all recorded by other artists. (George Strait, Randy Travis, and Mark Chesnutt.)
  • Early-Bird Cameo: His debut single "Turn Me to Love" featured a backing vocal from a then-unknown Patty Loveless.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: "Hard Livin'" sticks out, as it's a thumping Hank Williams, Jr.-esque romper that's out of line with his usual style.
  • Men Don't Cry: "I Never Go Around Mirrors":
    No, I never go around mirrors
    Because I gotta heartache to hide
    And it tears me up to see
    A grown man cry
  • Posthumous Collaboration: Several with his widow, Lorrie Morgan, including "'Til a Tear Becomes a Rose" on his 1990 Greatest Hits Album.
  • Record Producer: His most critically-acclaimed albums were produced by Blake Mevis, who is more often a songwriter.
  • Shout-Out: "Buck", from Wherever You Are Tonight, is a plea for radio to start playing Buck Owens again.
  • Train Song: "Daddy Loved Trains".

Kitty WellsCountry MusicDon Williams

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