Keith Whitley

15 Jan

Hey y’all, I hope everyone is having a great day today. It’s a new day and it’s nice and sunny outside which to me means good writing weather. (Granted I can write when the mood strikes me but when the weather is nice out that’s when I write the best.) With writing also comes the thing I rely most on which is music. Music is great for your moods, I don’t have moods or emotions like most people, I have songs. Weird I know but honestly it’s easier for me to tell someone after they’ve asked what’s on my mind, “Go listen to this.” and then I’ll tell em a song that is best describing what I’m dealing with at that time. For example; I had a bad break up awhile back and when my ex called me up to talk to me about things I said “You know I think you need to go listen to Bo Phillips Band’s song ‘The Pissed Off Clown Song’ or Keith Whitley’s song ‘I’m Over You’. Then tell me what you think.” Needless to say he didn’t call back so I think he got the hint (also if you’ve never heard those songs, I strongly suggest you stop reading and go to YouTube and look em up.)

So now that you’ve read the title of this blog and seen that I mentioned Keith’s song you’re probably wondering why I’m blogging about him. Lucky for you, I’m about to tell you why… So sit back, grab a soda pop or some Skittles and get ready to read why I think so highly of KW.

Keith Whitley…. man oh man if you’ve ever loved country music then you must’ve heard this man sing a time or two. Keith’s well known songs include; ‘I’m No Stranger To The Rain’, ‘It Ain’t Nothin’, ‘Homecoming ’63’, ‘When You Say Nothing At All’ (which was later covered by Alison Krauss and Union Station), ‘Miami, My Amy’ and that’s just naming a few. I have several friends that dote on KW and for good reason, if you went and YouTubed his song ‘I’m Over You’ and then watched some more videos then you know that his voice is one of a kind. Keith’s voice is, in my own opinion, soothing. It doesn’t matter what kind of day I’m having I can get in the car or turn on the radio and pop in one of his cd’s and BAM! Instantly I feel better. It could also be the sound of the music… no pops and whistles, it sounds like what country music should sound like. If you listen closely to his songs, you can hear the emotions in his voice. I love it. I hate the fact that I was 19 days short of being 5 when he passed away and I never got to go see him live in concert. I was just knee high to a grasshopper when my mama took me to see Tanya Tucker and then when I was 6 or 7 she took me to see Hank Williams Jr. Both concerts I remember still to this day. You can better believe I’d remember some Keith Whitley! If I could meet and interview any artist alive or dead I’d choose Keith, there’s so many things I’d ask him.

I learned to two step to Keith’s song ‘Ten Feet Away’, still to this day when I hear it, it takes me back to that moment in my life. (I was 16!) I remember spending the summers with my memaw and aunts and they would turn on CMT, of course I was glued to the TV. I remember sitting there watching ‘Homecoming ’63’ and ‘When You Say Nothing At All’ videos. One of my good friends, Erin Bear Glinski (formally Neal) and I used to listen to Keith a lot. Erin had this white Ford Mustang at the time and back in the day when it was cool to cruise we’d drive around listening to Keith. One memory that stands out in my mind and I’m not sure which one of us was nursing a broken heart from a bad break up at the time but she slung a Keith cd in the Mustang and turned up the volume and on came ‘I’m Over You’ and away we went driving and listening to that song as Erin Bear sang to it loudly and I giggled. I might not have remembered which one was broken hearted but I remember after jamming to that song 1,486 times, neither one of us was suffering anymore.

Another Keith song that stands out to me is ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’ which went #1 in 1988. My Lord, it gets to me. I listen to it continuously and the line that sticks out the most is:

“Darling just once
Let yesterday go
You’ll find more love
Than you’ve ever known”

I think everyone has thought that at least once in their life. If you’re not familiar with the song once again, go visit YouTube or go buy an album. I can assure you, you won’t be disappointed by any of his songs.

Unfortunately, Keith’s career was cut short by his untimely death May 9,1989 at the young age of 34. I, in my own opinion, will say this about Keith… had he not passed away he would’ve had a larger than life career and he would’ve been one of the few artist to stay true to his country sound. Call me crazy but I strongly believe it. I can mention Keith’s name and whoever I’m around, you can see it in their face, they light up and start talking about their favorite song and boast on him and his music. I have friends that weren’t even born until after Keith’s death and you can believe they love his music and own all his albums. If that doesn’t tell you what a amazing singer he was then I don’t know what will!

I’ve read Lorrie Morgan’s book 5,493 times (True story, I’ve read it so many times. It’s that good!) If you haven’t, I strongly suggest you buy it and read it. It’s in her own words and it’s about her love story with Keith. From the time they met til he passed away, she recounts everything. I respect her on many levels and once you read the book, you will too.

 While they were together they had a son, Jesse Keith Whitley, now if this name doesn’t sound familiar you take your butt right back over to YouTube and look him up right now. He’ll knock your socks off with his voice and his performances. Jesse Keith is one of those artist in Nashville that, I know, will be a household name within the year. Yes, he’s that good and who would’ve doubted it? His mom is Lorrie Morgan and his dad is Keith Whitley, God couldn’t have planned that any better. While you’re creeping YouTube, look up his song ‘Kentucky Thunder’ and then look up his cover of ‘Tell Lorrie I Love Her’, a song written by Keith to Lorrie that he recorded on a little recorder in their living room then was later sang at their wedding by a friend.

I had contacted Jesse Keith last October to ask about a possible interview for All Twang TV. We planned it and I took off for Tennessee the end of November, that trip was short lived. I was hit with terrible pain in my right kidney and then later realized I had a kidney stone. So I had to cancel and come home, I’m hoping I can reschedule that highly anticipated interview with JKW for this year. He, just like his daddy, interests me and I’ll gladly support both of them openly and proudly.

Y’all have a fabulous day and as soon as you can take your butt to Hastings, Wal Mart, Best Buy or wherever they sell cd’s and purchase any Keith Whitley album you can find and if you already have them, then take a hour break from whatever you’re doing and relax to some soothing sounds of KW. Until next time, bye y’all! 

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2 Responses to “Keith Whitley”

  1. Ken McMeans Presents... May 23, 2014 at 5:48 am #

    Great blog Lisa! We can set that interview back up with Jesse anytime you’re ready. He’ll be in Texas July 22-28- maybe you can join us there?

    • reddirtlisa May 23, 2014 at 2:21 pm #

      For sure hun! We’ll get in touch and discuss details but I’d for sure love to come down and interview Jesse!

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