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March 1

Gone Too Soon, His Father’s Legacy Lives On: Watch Jesse Keith Whitley’s “Don’t Close Your Eyes”

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Jesse Keith Whitley’s “Don’t Close Your Eyes” needlessly sends chills down the spine of its original singer’s fans. Written by Bob McDill, the song was released in March 1988. Jesse’s father and his namesake, Keith Whitley, brought the single to Top 1 in the US and Top 2 in Canada.

As one would expect, Jesse would dare to revive one of his father’s greatest legacy in the country music industry. The Kentucky-born country singer is the son of Keith Whitley to fellow American country music singer, Lorrie Morgan

Jesse was born in 1987. Two years later, his father would pass away from alcohol-related reasons. The media didn’t make it easy for his widowed mom due to the speculations about his father’s death.

However, Jesse didn’t grow up to be afraid of the spotlight. He once dreamt of serving in the Coast Guard when he was a teenager. But as soon after he realized he was made to sing and write songs, he proved that he’s more than the spitting image of his father.

Jesse has chosen to walk after his parent’s footsteps. His natural talent gave him an edge in building a fan base that would support him all the way. 

When Jesse released his version of “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” some fans noted how he sounded like his father. His voice harmonizing with his mother gave deeper meaning to the song. Their chemistry on the stage captured the spirit of Keith Whitley. 

It’s notable how Jesse mirrors the musical style of his late grandfather and his parents without bargaining his individuality. He has a unique take on his father’s music blended with his modern interpretation of classic country music. Without even trying hard, Jesse Keith Whitley’s “Don’t Close Your Eyes” is a breath of fresh air.

Bask in harmonic bliss by listening to Jesse Keith Whitley’s interpretation of his father’s “Don’t Close Your Eyes”:


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Jesse Keith Whitley, keith whitley, Lorrie Morgan


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