As you have probably noticed most of my blog entries are about contemporary commercial country artists or new up and comers. However, this time I wanted to share my most recent experience with “meeting” an artist that doesn’t fit into either of those categories to balance things out. Also, I am really excited I branched out and found someone who was an incredible artist, Keith Whitley.
Yeah, I know I’m late and should have already known about him but I’m new! Thanks to Amazon’s new feature Prime Music I downloaded a compilation of Keith’s. Otherwise I don’t know if I ever would have listened to his songs, it’s not like they’re everywhere you look.
His voice was absolutely amazing and definitely qualifies as being classified as “true country.” He just had THAT tone. Most of his output was recorded in the 80s but I don’t think the production of the songs I’ve heard sound cheesy and dated. Actually the only reason why his songs would sound dated is because there’s no hip hop present, and thank goodness.
Off the complication, the tracks that stand out the most are “Turn Me to Love,” “Brotherly Love,” “Some Old Side Road” and “Miami, My Amy.”
When referring to old school country most people mention Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard and the like, but there was so much more talent out there. It’s a shame to think someone like Keith might get forgotten as time passes, but I’m very excited that I found Keith and can enjoy his music! You should do the same so pull out your old records or CDs and listen to Keith Whitley again.
Thank you Steven.
Keith Whitley is so soulful! Amazing class of musician and singer. I want to attempt to answer your question about people not mentioning KW when referencing the classic country artists. I think the answer lies in that Cash, Waylon, WIllie, Hank and the like come from an era where the channels for exposure were so few and far between that the entire world knew them and recognized that they were defining American popular culture. Also consider that everyone loves Johnny Cash and Hank etc, it’s blasphemous to dislike them in music discussions.
KW was creating great music during an era of Country where it had truly become a big business. Some of the Judds records from that era could almost be disco, and I think ( I was just a little kid so i can only speculate) the 80’s was a time when the phrase, ” I like everything except country” was invented. Before that country was just good songs from the south. Country was everything that wasn’t Rock or Race music. But by the 80’s I’m pretty sure a huge part of the population saw Country as “those people” as opposed to just “Johnny Cash and Roger miller, those two guys I hear on the radio every saturday night.” KW was victim of Genre! I think Country fans from the 80’s would all agree to his genius, while everyone else from that time was busy ignoring him so they didn’t look like a “redneck.”
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