In a short five-year span in the 1980s, Keith Whitley ran a number of songs up the country charts and more than held his own among fellow New Traditionalists such as Randy Travis and George Strait. In the early '70s, as a 15-year-old bluegrass singer, he (and Ricky Skaggs) joined Ralph Stanley's Clinch Mountain Boys and later had a critically acclaimed stint fronting J.D. Crowe and the New South. His break-out came in the mid '80s with a solo contract for RCA and by 1988 he topped the charts with "Don't Close Your Eyes," the first of a handful of number ones. A lifelong battle with severe alcoholism ended with a fatal relapse in 1989.
DISC 1 for Don't Close Your Eyes (CD) Album
By Keith Whitley