Hal Ketchum

Born April 9, 1953 in Greenwich, New York, Hal Ketchum was a country music singer, songwriter, musician, and performer. His musical journey began at the age of 15 when he began performing the local clubs in a rhythm and blues trio. Relocating to Austin, Texas. Inspired by his visits to Gruene Hall to see live acts, he began to write his own songs. By 1985, he had enough songs and began playing small clubs throughout Texas. His debut album, Threadbare Alibis, was recorded in 1986 but not released until 1988. Moving to Nashville, Tennessee, Ketchum signed with Curb Records in 1991, which began the most commercially successful period of his career. His 1991 album Past the Point of Rescue included two Number 2 singles: “Small Town Saturday Night” and the album’s title track, which also went to Number 1 on Canada’s Country chart. The album was certified Gold. 1992’s Sure Love contained three Top 10 singles including “Hearts Are Gonna Roll” and “Mama Knows the Highway”. His next album, Every Little Word, was released in 1994. The album featured the Top 10 single “Stay Forever”. That same year, Ketchum was inducted as the 71st Member of the Grand Ole Opry. In 1998, Ketchum was diagnosed with the neurological disorder acute transverse myelitis, which left him without the use of the left side of his body. He had to relearn how to walk and play the guitar. Ketchum continued to tour and release albums up through 2014 – including I Saw the Light (1998), Lucky Man (2001), One More Midnight (2007) and I’m The Troubadour (2014) – but did not retain the same level of sales as his earlier releases. Ketchum retired in 2019 due to early-onset dementia. Hank Ketchum died on November 23, 2020.

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