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December 13

“Don’t Close Your Eyes” by Keith Whitley

Somehow I can’t stop and close my eyes just to feel the emotions in “Don’t Close Your Eyes”. Enjoy the video right here:

“Don’t Close Your Eyes” is a song written by Bob McDill, and recorded by American country music artist Keith Whitley. It was released in March 1988 as the third single from his album of the same name. It peaked at number one in the Billboard Hot Country Song chart, and number 2 in RPM. Additionally, it was Billboard’s number-one country single of the year 1988.

The song was covered by Alan Jackson for Keith Whitley’s 1995 tribute album, by Kellie Pickler for the deluxe edition of her 2008 self-titled second album, and by The Voice Season 6 contestant Jake Worthington for his audition song and fan-chosen final performance. Garth Brooks performed the song at the 50th CMA Awards whilst Whitley’s widow Lorrie Morgan looked emotional in the audience.

The Album

With the same title as the track, Don’t Close Your Eyes is the second studio album by Whitley and the last to be released during his lifetime. May 9, 1989, was one of the saddest days in the history of country music. It was on this day that Keith Whitley passed away. Whitley’s death stunned the country music community. Many artists that followed him such as Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Joe Diffie and Chris Young have talked about how Keith had influenced them. Keith is featured in Garth’s video The Dance.

The music video was directed by Michael McClary and premiered in mid-1988. The guitar that Keith is playing in this video was purchased by Chris Young at auction. Chris used it to write many of the songs on his album AM. Chris played the guitar in public for the first time on the Grand Ol’ Opry singing a cover of Keith’s Don’t Close Your Eyes.


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