Whitley, Keith

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Portrait of Keith Whitley (click to view image source)
Keith Whitley
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Whitley, Keith Gender: M
Jackie Keith Whitley
born on 1 July 1954 at 05:30 (= 05:30 AM )
Place Ashland, Kentucky, 38n29, 82w38
Timezone EST h5w (is standard time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_cancol.18.gif 09°03' s_mo.18.gif s_cancol.18.gif 21°00 Asc.s_cancol.18.gif 12°20'


American country-western singer and songwriter. Although he worked with a number of different bands over the years, much of his success can be traced to the release of his solo album "Don’t Close Your Eyes," 1988, which gave birth to three number one hits.

Whitley began singing when he was only a few years old, and at age four, he won a talent contest. He learned to play the guitar when he was eight, and soon he was singing on a local radio station. When he was 13, he and his older brother Dwight formed a bluegrass band, and a few years later, he founded the "Lonesome Mountain Boys" with his high school friend, Ricky Skaggs. In 1970, both he and Skaggs joined the "Clinch Mountain Boys." Whitley stayed with the group for two years and recorded seven albums, including "Crying from the Cross," 1971, which became Bluegrass Album of the Year.

After leaving in 1973, he worked with several other bands, but returned to "Clinch Mountain Boys" in 1975, staying with them for five more albums. In 1978, he joined "The New South," but in 1982, he took off on his own. His debut solo album was "Hard Act to Follow," 1984, and the following year, he released "L.A. to Miami," which was more commercially successful.

Whitley married Lorrie Morgan, a country-western singer, in 1986. Their son, Jesse Keith, was born in 1987. Although his professional career seemed to be going well, inwardly his life was in turmoil. Whitley had been an alcoholic since his early 20s. He periodically went on binges, and the disease was slowly destroying his life. On 5/09/1989, he died from alcohol poisoning. "I Wonder Do You Think of Me," completed shortly before his death, was released posthumously, and several songs from the album reached number one on the charts. In 1990, his widow won a CMA Award for their duet "’Till a Tear (becomes a rose)," and Whitley was the subject of her 1994 single "If You Came Back From Heaven."

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Social : Joined group 1970 (Joined the "Clinch Mountain Boys" group)
  • Work : Gain social status 1971 (Album receives Bluegrass Album of the Year)
  • Social : Joined group 1978 ("The New South" group)
  • Social : Left group 1982 (Went solo)
  • Relationship : Marriage 1986 (Lorrie Morgan)
  • Family : Change in family responsibilities 1987 (Son Jesse Keith born)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1988 (Solo album released)
  • Death by Disease 9 May 1989 (Alcohol poisoning, age 34)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Stephen Przybylowski quotes B.C. by phone 8/2001


  • Diagnoses : Psychological : Abuse Alcohol (Extreme, terminal)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (One son)
  • Lifestyle : Work : Travel for work (Tours)
  • Lifestyle : Work : Work alone/ Singular role (Solo albums)
  • Lifestyle : Work : Work in team/ Tandem (Musical groups)
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Child performer (From age 13)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Country-Western
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Instrumentalist (Guitar)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Song writer
  • Notable : Awards : Vocational award (Bluegrass Album of the Year)