On this date, May 9th, in 1989 country music singer Keith Whitley passed away at the age of 33.
During his career, Whitley charted 19 singles on the Billboard country charts.
Born in Ashland, Kentucky, Whitley grew up in nearby Sandy Hook, Kentucky. Whitley began his career there in 1970, performing in Ralph Stanley’s band. Establishing himself as a lead singer in bluegrass music, Whitley moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1983 and began his recording career there. His first Top 20 Country Hit single, “Miami, My Amy”, was released in 1986.
While touring for his album L.A. to Miami, he married country singer Lorrie Morgan. In 1988, his first three singles from his studio album Don’t Close Your Eyes, the title song, “When You Say Nothing at All” and “I’m No Stranger to the Rain” were number-one hits. He died in 1989 at the age of 34. His later two singles, “I Wonder Do You Think of Me” and “It Ain’t Nothin'”, were released after his death.
Whitley continues to influence an entire generation of singers and songwriters.