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Eddy Arnold Died

Eddy Arnold, whose mellow baritone on songs like "Make the World Go Away" made him one of the most successful country singers in history, died Thursday morning, days short of his 90th birthday. Arnold died at a care facility near Nashville, said Don Cusic, a professor at Belmont University and author of the biography "Eddy Arnold: I'll Hold You in My Heart." His wife of 66 years, Sally, had died in March, and in the same month, Arnold fell outside his home, injuring his hip.

`Elvis recorded several songs written and/ or recorded by Eddy Arnold including "It's A Sin", "How Is The World Treating You", "You Don't Know Me", "I'll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms)", "I Wanna Play House with You," and "Make The World Go Away". Early in his career, his manager was Col. Tom Parker. Arnold fired him as his manager late in 1953 over a dispute never made public (they actually remained friends), and Parker soon moved on to Hank Snow and (most famously) Elvis Presley

Arnold's vocals on songs like the 1965 "Make the World Go Away," one of his many No. 1 country hits and a top 10 hit on the pop charts, made him one of the most successful country singers in history. Folksy yet sophisticated, he became a pioneer of "The Nashville Sound," also called "countrypolitan," a mixture of country and pop styles. His crossover success paved the way for later singers such as Kenny Rogers. "I sing a little country, I sing a little pop and I sing a little folk, and it all goes together," he said in 1970. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1966. The following year he was the first person to receive the entertainer of the year award from the Country Music Association.

The reference book "Top Country Singles 1944-1993,'" by Joel Whitburn, ranked Arnold the No. 1 country singer in terms of overall success on the Billboard country charts. It lists his first No. 1 hit as "It's a Sin," 1947, and for the following year ranks his "Bouquet of Roses" as the biggest hit of the entire year. Other hits included "Cattle Call," "The Last Word in Lonesome Is Me," "Anytime," "Bouquet of Roses," "What's He Doing in My World?" "I Want to Go With You," "Somebody Like Me," "Lonely Again" and "Turn the World Around."

Most of his hits were done in association with famed guitarist Chet Atkins, the producer on most of the recording sessions. The late Dinah Shore once described his voice as like "warm butter and syrup being poured over wonderful buttermilk pancakes."

Reflecting on his career, he said he never copied anyone."I really had an idea about how I wanted to sing from the very beginning," he said. He revitalized his career in the 1960s by adding strings, a controversial move for a country artist back then. "I got to thinking, if I just took the same kind of songs I'd been singing and added violins to them, I'd have a new sound. They cussed me, but the disc jockeys grabbed it. ... The artists began to say, `Aww, he's left us.' Then within a year, they were doing it!"
Arnold was born May 15, 1918, on a farm near Henderson, Tenn., the son of a sharecropper. He sang on radio stations in Jackson, Tenn., Memphis, Tenn., and St. Louis before becoming nationally known.

His image was always that of a modest, clean-cut country boy. "You cannot satisfy all the people," he once said. "They have an image of me. Some people think I'm Billy Graham's half brother, but I'm not. I want people to get this hero thing off their mind and just let me be me."

Survivors include a son and daughter.
Source: Various / Updated: May 8, 2008
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Reactions

sitdown68 (profilecontact) wrote on May 22, 2008report abuse
The also long gone Carl Perkins once sang a song with the lines. Tenessee's created for music... ending another line with: Mr. Eddie Arnold came from Tenessee... an army buddy of mine went by that name, so I nicknamed him Eddie Arnold, he liked the late artist too...
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on May 10, 2008report abuse
Greg - I am going to see Chuck Berry & Little Richard next month in concert. Altho they are 'stiil left', I dont believe they have 'much left', but am hoping for the best.
Harvey Alexander (profilecontact) wrote on May 10, 2008report abuse
A true country music legend. Rest easy, Mr. Arnold.
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on May 10, 2008report abuse
Yes, Rest in peace and you're all right, what a passing of an age we're experiencing. I only know some of his biggest hits (I associated them with my parents more pre-rock tastes) but with age have come to really appreciate true singers and true songs --- all of which Mr. Eddy Arnold sang. He always seemed very likeable and smart too. As Otis comments, his ability to see through the so-called "Colonel" Tom Parker (a title he was happy to ignore) was priceless and a joy for Elvis fans who know about. I had been thinking I'd get something by him, a boxset or collection and I will in time. It was nice to see he did a few last albums in the '00s, too.

Folks, I don't know who's left (and there is a but a few, like Tony Bennett) but a lot of these acts were sort of like wallpaper for us as we all got into Elvis and later rock acts but it'll be truly sad when that era is all gone. I keep losing people who came of age in the 1940s, '50s and '60s so even the passing of a performer who was almost 90 is yet another sign of our brief sojourn on this earth. Folks: enjoy your parents if they're still alive (mine are not) and any "elderly" friends and aunts and uncles: in my view, so much of their world was classier and hard to match - like Eddy Arnold
Sirbalkan (profilecontact) wrote on May 9, 2008report abuse
R.I.P. Eddy... Sing with E always...
OtisBlue22 (profilecontact) wrote on May 9, 2008report abuse
The Man Who Successfully Fired The Colonel!! (Deserves a statue just for that achievement)
marty (profilecontact) wrote on May 9, 2008report abuse
Very sad news. One more of the truly great singers is gone. He was one of my all-time favourites and I have collected through the years more than 40 of his LP's. It's a pity that most of his 60's recordings haven't been released on CD. Bear Family records did a great job releasing a box set with his early recordings. RIP Eddy, your music will live forever...
PS The christmas album is indeed called "Christmas with Eddy Arnold"
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on May 8, 2008report abuse
JerryN- if its the one Im thinking of, it was called Christmas with Eddy Arnold. A nice album indeed.
Gan (profilecontact) wrote on May 8, 2008report abuse
another good guy gone. R.I.P. Eddy.
JerryNodak (profilecontact) wrote on May 8, 2008report abuse
Truly one of the all time country greats. I love his music. t won't be long and all the stars of stature with an Elvis connection will be gone. Each year when the Christmas season rolls around I always play his Christmas album that he recorded in Nashville circa 1962. The title escapes me. Steve V, do you recall?
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on May 8, 2008report abuse
Very sad - every year a major star from my youth passes on. It becomes numbing after a while RIP Eddy!
Viva (profilecontact) wrote on May 8, 2008report abuse
A real shame. We are losing so many historic people these days, there'll soon be no-one left to tell the real story.
commoneverybody (profilecontact) wrote on May 8, 2008report abuse
He truly had a wonderful warm voice. R.I.P.
asd123 (profilecontact) wrote on May 8, 2008report abuse
Sad news, he was a true country music legend. I love his songs.

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