Keith Whitley has been added as a special exhibit with the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville beginning May 3, 2019. The Sandy Hook, Kentucky, native has influenced so many over multiple generations of music in bluegrass and country genres.
The exhibit encompasses Whitley’s entire career, from his bluegrass roots to his success as a singer in a traditional style of country music with #1 hits “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” “When You Say Nothing at All,” “I’m No Stranger to the Rain,” “I Wonder Do You Think of Me” and “I’m Over You.” The installation will also look at Whitley’s influence on the country singers who followed him.
“I cannot express what an honor it is for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to recognize the late, great Keith Whitley as such an important part of country music history. He was not only instrumental in giving me the confidence I needed as an artist, but through the years he has given many other up-and- coming stars the confidence and true grit they have acquired by loving and listening to the music of Keith Whitley,” said Lorrie Morgan. “This exhibit is not just Keith’s life in music, but it also depicts his love for country and bluegrass music. Keith always felt inadequate of the recognition he deserved. Keith was the most humble, generous, and truly the most talented man I have ever known. Before Keith’s death, he was three weeks away from his life-long dream of being made a member of The Grand Ole Opry, a surprise that he never knew about. Speaking for myself, his daughter Morgan, son-in-law Justin, his son Jesse Keith, daughter-in-law Kristen, his grandchildren Preston, Parker, Tuff, his unborn granddaughter, all of the Whitleys and all of the Morgans, this is an honor we have longed to show the world. This exhibit is the life and times of Keith Whitley.”
Keith Whitley’s legacy continues to this day and truly deserves to be a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Hopefully this exhibit will help encourage the secret board of decision makers of inductees to include his name as one of the three in the 2019 class.
Here in Kentucky, Keith Whitley’s musical heritage continues to be celebrated. Many items of his are on display at the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame in Renfro Valley, where he became a member in 2011. His statue also stands firm and tall in his hometown of Sandy Hook. Each year, a motorcycle ride in his memory happens in May. Organizers have discussed plans for the 2019 event via their Facebook page (click here). It expands every year and has recently included concert of those influenced by Keith Whitley.
For more information on the Country Music Hall of Fame, be sure to check out www.countrymusichalloffame.org. Don’t forget to visit the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum at www.kentuckymusichalloffame.com.
Jessica Blankenship is the owner and founder of Kentucky Country Music website. The Berea College graduate has been a music journalist and historian for over 20 years. She enjoys providing concert photography, reviews, historical articles, red carpet event coverage, and exclusive interviews of your favorite musicians. Jessica is proud to be a Kentucky Colonel and alumni of the FFA and 4-H Clubs. In 2018, she was named one of Laurel County’s Ten Under 40 Award Recipients. In 2019, she was a member of the Inaugural class of BRIGHT Kentucky as part of Leadership Kentucky. She has been featured on the Kentucky Music Preview podcast, Hollercast podcast, Overtones radio show, WFKY Nashville News Roundup, KET, and more. Beyond music, she enjoys traveling, helping her community, collecting gnomes, and Volkswagens.