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Eddy Arnold - Four Great Tracks

1 May 2012

Richard Edward Arnold (May 15, 1918 – May 8, 2008), known professionally as Eddy Arnold, was an American country music singer who performed for six decades. He was a so-called Nashville sound (country/popular music) innovator of the late 1950s, and scored 147 songs on the Billboard country music charts, second only to George Jones. He sold more than 85 million records. A member of the Grand Ole Opry (beginning 1943) and the Country Music Hall of Fame (beginning 1966), Arnold ranked 22nd on Country Music Television's 2003 list of "The 40 Greatest Men of Country Music." He co-wrote the country and pop standard "You Don't Know Me".

Second career: The Nashville Sound

During the 1950s, the most popular music was rock and roll, which caused a decrease of Arnold's record sales, though he and RCA singer Jim Reeves had a greater audience with popular-sounding string-laced arrangements. During 1955, Arnold annoyed many people of the country music establishment by recording with the Hugo Winterhalter Orchestra in New York. The popular-oriented arrangements of "The Cattle Call" and "The Richest Man (in the World)", however, helped to expand his appeal beyond its country music base. This style, pioneered by Reeves and Arnold, became known as the "Nashville Sound" During 1953, Arnold and Tom Parker had a dispute, and Arnold dismissed him. From 1954 to 1963, Arnold's performances were managed by Joe Csida; during 1964 Csida was replaced by Jerry Purcell.  Arnold embarked on a second career that brought his music to a more diverse audience. During 1965, he had one of his greatest successes with the song "Make the World Go Away". With the Anita Kerr Singers as backup and accompanied by pianist Floyd Cramer, Arnold's rendition became an international success.
Bill Walker's orchestra arrangements provided the lush background for 16 continuous successes sung by Arnold during the late 1960s. Arnold performed with symphony orchestras in New York City, Las Vegas and Hollywood. He performed in Carnegie Hall for two concerts, and in the Coconut Grove in Las Vegas. During 1966, Arnold was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the youngest performer to receive the honor. The following year Arnold was voted the first-ever awarded Country Music Association's Entertainer Of The Year. Two years later, Arnold released an autobiography named It's A Long Way From Chester County.
Having been with RCA Victor since his debut during 1944, Arnold left the company during the mid-1970s for MGM Records, for which he recorded four albums, which included several top 40 successes. He returned to RCA in 1976. During the 1980s, Arnold declared himself semi-retired; however, he continued recording. During 1984, the Academy of Country Music awarded Arnold its Pioneer Award. However, he then released no recordings for seven years. He discussed starting again during 1990, but had to have heart surgery. His next album was released during 1991 as You Don't Miss A Thing. Arnold performed road tours for several more years. By 1992, he had sold nearly 85 million records, and had a total of 145 weeks of No. 1 songs, more than any other singer.
During 1996, when Arnold was 76 years old, RCA issued an album of his main successes since 1944 as part of a series on singers. Arnold then retired from active singing, though he still performed occasionally. On May 16, 1999, the day after his 81st birthday, he announced his final retirement during a concert at the Hotel Orleans in Las Vegas. That same year, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences inducted the recording of "Make The World Go Away" into the Grammy Hall of Fame. During 2000, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. During 2005, Arnold received a lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy, and later that year, released an RCA album called After All These Years.
Eddy Arnold died at 5:00 a.m. Central Time on May 8, 2008 in a nursing home in Nashville, exactly one week before his 90th birthday. His wife of 66 years, Sally Gayhart Arnold, had preceded him in death by two months. They were survived by two children, two grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
On May 31, 2008, RCA released as a single "To Life", a song from the album After All These Years. It debuted at No. 49 on the Hot Country Songs charts, Arnold's first entry in 25 years and the recording by the oldest person to chart in Billboard magazine. It set the record for the longest span between a first chart single and a last: 62 years and 11 months ("Each Minute Seems Like a Million Years" debuted on June 30, 1945), and extended Arnold's career chart history to seven decades.

Eddy Arnold
Background information
Birth nameRichard Edward Arnold
Also known asThe Tennessee Plowboy
BornMay 15, 1918
OriginHenderson, TennesseeUSA
DiedMay 8, 2008 (aged 89)
Genrescountry musicgospel music,pop music
Occupationssinger, songwriter, TV host, actor
Years active1937 –1999
LabelsRCA Records (1944–1970s; 1976–2008)
MGM Records (1970s–1976)

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