One of the gloomiest events that happened in the country music was when Keith Whitley tragically passed away. Tears and sorrow surrounded the country world during that time. And though Whitley’s career was cut short, it gave him enough time to engrave his mark on the genre he embraced. He was well known as a bonafide country superstar. As per record, from his first single released in 1984 to his untimely death in 1989, he left us with 19 hit singles.
Don’t Close Your Eyes
“Don’t Close Your Eyes” was a huge commercial success that opened the door for Whitley’s stardom. Written by Bob McDill, it was released in March 1988 as the third single from his album of the same name. For the record, it became Billboard’s number one country single during the year it was released. Also, it was a number one song in the United States, and number two in Canada.
On the TV program, “Opry Live” in 1989, Keith performed a masterful rendition of “Don’t Close Your Eyes” and an emotionally-charged performance of “I’ll Never Go Around Mirrors.” Little did the fans knew that it was his last appearance on a stage.
Try not to cry while watching this video.
His Posthumous Career
Keith’s career has lasted long beyond his premature death.
He had finished his fourth album, I Wonder Do You Think of Me, at the time of his death. Two of the songs peaked number one on the country chart. Another album, Greatest Hits followed in 1990 and received a Platinum certificate. The album includes the song, “Tell Lorrie I Love Her.”
Keith’s silky baritone voice continues to soothe the country airwaves. He has a versatile voice that allowed him to sing soft ballads and hard honky tonk numbers. He continues to influence an entire generation of entertainers.