Effort Launched to Erect Keith Whitley Memorial

2022 will finally see influential country music artist Keith Whitley inducted into the Country Music Hall Fame after a multi-year effort to get him in finally paid off with the announcement in May. Now an effort is underway to erect a proper memorial for Keith Whitley in his final resting place at the Springhill Cemetery in Nashville.

A group of devoted fans and industry friends—with the approval and cooperation of Lorrie Morgan, Jesse Keith Whitley, Morgan Whitley and Conway Entertainment Group— have established a dedicated bank account overseen by Lorrie Morgan Entertainment to raise funds for the memorial, with a dedicated Indiegogo Drive launched with multiple incentives for the tiers of donations.

“My family and I are so happy at the prospect of seeing this monument in Keith’s honor,” says Lorrie Morgan. “I would be so moved to see it installed the same year that he is finally made a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, and I’m deeply touched by those who care so deeply about Keith’s memory and legacy.”

Keith Whitley already has a proper headstone that he shares with Lorrie Morgan at the Springhill Cemetery, but this would be a memorial that would incorporate the “weeping angel” design. Along with Whitley, numerous other country music legends are buried at the cemetery, including Roy Acuff, Hank Snow, Kitty Wells, Jimmy Martin, Jan Howard, John Hartford, Earl Scruggs, and others, making it a destination spot for country fans looking to pay their respects.

A Kentucky native, Keith Whitley started in country music as a member of Ralph Stanley’s bluegrass band, and later join J.D. Crowe and his band The New South. His 1985 album L.A. to Miami put Keith Whitley on the map with songs like “Miami, My Amy,” “Ten Feet Away,” and “Hard Livin’.” Then Keith’s 1988 record Don’t Close Your Eyes set him on the path to superstardom, landing him his first #1 hit with the title track, which would set off a succession of five straight #1 songs from Whitley, including signature songs “When You Say Nothing At All” and “I’m No Stranger to the Rain.”

However on May 9th, 1989, Keith Whitley died of what was ruled as alcohol poisoning, and he ever got to reap the rewards of the career he’d worked to build. He was just 34-years-old. The short nature of Whitley’s career has resulted in some arguing that his legacy was not Hall of Fame worthy. But it wasn’t the amount of hits or the longevity of Whitley’s career that put him in the Hall of Fame. It was the influence he left on country music that was ultimately deemed to be Hall of Fame caliber. Garth Brooks mentioned Whitley by name when he was inducted as someone who deserved to be in before him.

To donate to the Keith Whitley memorial, CLICK HERE.

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