Country Music Hall Of Fame To Honor Keith Whitley With Nashville Memorial Concert

Keith Whitley

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will honor the 30th anniversary of the passing of country icon Keith Whitley with an all-star tribute concert set for Tuesday, May 9 at the CMA Theater in Nashville.

Hosted by Lorrie Morgan and Whitley’s son Jesse Keith Whitley, the show will feature performances from Garth Brooks, Tom Buller, Mark Chesnutt, Larry Cordle, Caleb Daugherty, Kevin Denney, Wesley Dennis, Joe Diffie, Corey Farlow, Carl Jackson, Cory and Dustin Keefe, Tracy Lawrence, Jesse Keith Whitley, Mark Wills, Darryl Worley and Trisha Yearwood.

Whitley died May 9, 1989, from alcohol poisoning. He was 33.

Whitley’s first solo album, A Hard Act To Follow, released in 1984. During his brief career, he put 19 songs on the country charts, and earned five consecutive No. 1 singles with tracks like “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” “I’m No Stranger To The Rain” and “When You Say Nothing At All.”

Whitley got his musical start in bluegrass, performing alongside Ricky Skaggs as part of Ralph Stanley’s Clinch Mountain Boys. He would go on to play with J.D. Crow and the New South before moving to Nashville and landing a deal with RCA. His 1988 sophomore album Don’t Close Your Eyes and  I Wonder Do You Think Of Me, which released following Whitley’s death in 1989, were both certified Gold.

The show will begin at 7 p.m. on May 9. Tickets go on sale Friday, March 29 at 10 a.m. CT at


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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at jnichols[email protected]

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