Although they never met, Dierks dedicated an hour of his radio show today to Keith and told us how much he appreciates his music, and wondered what kind of music he'd be playing today.
Dierks' told the story of his steel player, Tim Sergent, who had gotten a Keith Whitley gig back in 1989, to be Keith's steel guitar player and was driving down from Kentucky when he got the call that morning that Keith had passed away.
"Some great music was left behind," reflects Dierks. "
"I don't want this to be a sad show, I want it to be happy, to be celebrating the great music that Keith Whitley made, and the huge influence he's had on so many young country singers and continues to have on them. A lot of people try to sing like Keith but no one has done it since then. He had his own sound, his own way with words...he sure was somethin'."Dierks used to work at TNN and one of his most treasured possessions is a VHS tape of Keith singing Miami, My Amy on the Opry.
Keith Whitley started in the bluegrass world with Ricky Scaggs, when they were discovered at the age of 15 by the Stanley Brothers. He went from bluegrass to JD Crow, and Keith's tenture with JD had a huge influence on Keith becoming a country star.
"His records are so a part of my weekly listening...a big part of 'the thread' of country music," admits Dierks. I remember a few years ago reading one of D's journals on dierks.com...it was late one night, he was on his tour bus and listening to Keith on his ipod and writing a journal to us--his fan club--to let us know how much Keith Whitley's music means to him. I sure wish we still had those dierks.com journal archives, and we really miss those personal journals that seem to be a thing of the past.
"Some songs you just don't cover...I'd get requests for this song but I consider it sacriligeous, so I leave it alone. Don't touch it. 'Don't Close Your Eyes.' "I love hearing the original."Partial Play List:
~It Ain't Nothin'
~Miami, My Amy (1986)
~Pick Me Up On Your Way Down (written by Harland Howard)
~Sad Songs and Waltzes
~When You Say Nothing At All (*heart melting!)
~Somewhere Between Your Heart And Mine
~Don't Close Your Eyes
~Til A Tear Becomes A Rose (Duet with Lori Morgan; CMA Award for Best Vocal Collaboration)
~I'm Over You
"I used to write over at Sony/Tree where Keith wrote and a there's a bunch of little demos that got passed around from time to time...some really cool things that he did, that hopefully one day may see the light of day."
The last song that was released while he was alive--great guitar part almost impossible to do live - No Stranger To The Rain---January 1989.
It was apparent Dierks didn't want the show to end today. He has so much reverence, respect and appreciation for Keith Whitley and his music, we can't help but feel the same!
Best THREAD yet! Thanks, D!
DB Congress Chair