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2. Keith Whitley

Now in the category of short-lived but important careers, we have the case of Keith Whitley. When he was a teenager, he was a contestant in a music contest. There he befriended another teenage contestant by the name of Ricky Skaggs (who would become a country music legend and get inducted into the Hall in 2018). They became best friends and began performing shows together all the time. At one show, 1940’s bluegrass superstar Ralph Stanley entered the club they were playing and hired them for his band. After playing in that band for a few years (and eventually becoming their lead singer), Keith decided it was time for a solo career. Almost from the beginning, he got hits at radio and after a few years he gained a CMA award and a Grammy nomination. Unfortunately, it all came to a crashing halt when Keith addictions got the better of him, passing away from alcohol intoxication at the age of 34. But since that point, his legacy has grown immensely and his collection of music has inspired multiple generations of country artists. If he was going to get into the Hall Of Fame, his best opportunity would be now or in the next couple of years.

The Bullet Points

  • Eligible Since: Saturday, 01 January 2005
  • Country of Origin: Ashland, Kentucky, U.S.A.
  • Why they will get in: Legendary catalogue of songs and beloved by all who came after him
  • Why they won't get in: His catalog is too small and career too short for some voters to consider adding him
  • Radio Career: 1985-1991
  • Top Twenty Hits: 14
  • Album Sales: over 3 million
  • Our Five Favorite Songs as Chosen by Each Member of the NIHOF Committee:
    Ten Feet Away (From L.A. To Miami, 1986)
    Don’t Close Your Eyes (From Don’t Close Your Eyes, 1988)
    When You Say Nothing At All (From Don’t Close Your Eyes, 1988)
    I’m No Stranger To The Rain (From Don’t Close Your Eyes, 1989)
    Brotherly Love (w/ Earl Thomas Conley) (From Kentucky Bluebird, 1991)

Should Keith Whitley be in the Hall of Fame?

Definitely put him in! - 0%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 0%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 0%
No opinion. - 0%
No way! - 0%
Last modified on Monday, 13 September 2021 18:07
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