Whitley, Keith


  • From Sandy Hook, Kentucky.
  • 1970, at age 15, began his professional musical career when he and his friend Ricky Skaggs worked with Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys. That same year, Keith and Ricky recorded a duet album.
  • 1973, worked with Jimmy Gaudreau in a short-lived band called “The Country Store.”
  • 1975, returned to Ralph Stanley’s Clinch Mountain Boys as lead singer and guitarist.
  • 1979, joined J.D. Crowe and the New South.
  • 1985, began his solo career in country music. The following year, he hit the charts with his RCA single, “Miami, My Amy.”
  • Biggest hits: “When You Say Nothing At All,” “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” and “I’m No Stranger to the Rain.”
  • Died on May 9, 1989 in Nashville of alcohol poisoning. He was 34 years old.
  • 2022, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.