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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Kentucky Bluebird

As I sit here, I am listening to The Essential Keith Whitley. Ironically, "When You Say Nothing At All" is the song playing.

When I like to think of Keith, I think of that as the song that started it all.

I think I mentioned to you that I took a little break from country music during the late 80s-early 90s. It just wasn't cool for an adolescent to listen to daddy's music. Of course, now I listen to country music my daddy doesn't even remember, but it's all good.

You see, I never knew who Keith Whitley was until after he left this earth, which was 18 years ago tomorrow.

In 1994, two CDs came out. One was Lorrie Morgan's War Paint, and the other was Keith Whitley: A Tribute Album. So, two songs that were popular in 1994, when I was just getting back into country music, were "If You Came Back from Heaven" and Alison Krauss' version of "When You Say Nothing At All."

I bought that Keith Whitley tribute CD for that song. The rest, they say, is history. I listened to that CD and fell in love with Keith's music. His songs were amazing. It's not a coincidence that so many of today's modern artists -- Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Chris Young, etc. -- name Keith as an inspiration.

As I listen to Keith's CD, I am mesmerized by his beautiful voice. It's quite obvious why folks called him the "Kentucky Bluebird," because his voice is as melodic as a bird's.

I hate that Keith Whitley had a demon that he just couldn't beat. I hate that he left this earth way too early, and I didn't know about him until it was way too late.

One day, I wondered aloud what the music industry would be like if Keith Whitley had not died on May 9, 1989. I said to my brother, "If Keith Whitley were alive, I bet he'd be the biggest singer out there right now."

Lance replied, "No, if Keith Whitley were alive, he'd be like Garth Brooks sitting at home on a big pile of money."

That's probably true. At least I hope that would be true. If Keith had lived through that fateful May day, I'd like to believe that he'd have gone out at the top of his game and have found the courage to escape the trappings of alcohol and the angst of a tortured poet.

Today's song of the day is "A Picture of Me Without You" by Lorrie Morgan.

I'm pretty sure that tonight at Crossroads I'll be convincing Bobby to sing "Miami, My Amy."

1 comment(s):

I have the Keith Whitley cd you noted in your other blog and love the cd. It is hard to believe it has been that long ago already.

By Blogger rosalie, at 5/08/2007 10:12 PM  

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