After I finished singin', Keith motioned for me to come over to where he was and as I was walkin' over to him I was so nervous 'cause little did he know that he was my favorite singer and biggest influence. I had all of his records and I'd followed his career since he was a member of Ralph Stanley's Clinch Mt Boys. As I walked up to Keith, we shook hands and he said "Ken, you're sure a great singer and one day you're gonna be a star, so dont give up". I couldnt believe Keith Whitley was tellin' me he liked my voice! I then asked Keith for his autograph and he said " sure, I have a pen but no paper". So I picked up a popcorn box off the ground, tore it in half, and he signed his name on it. He was the nicest guy in the world.
In 1989, after Keiths death, I had the pleasure of meeting Keiths mom Faye. I told her about me meeting Keith and she said "That's funny, when Keith came home one day he told me that he met this guy at the 'You can be a star' show that wasnt a contestant and he loved his voice". As she was tellin' me this I was in shock, I couldnt believe it.
Since then I've gone on to sign a record deal with Sony Music on Epic Records (currently he is with Curb Records), and I was fortunate enough to co-write nine of the ten songs on my debut album. One song in particular that I co-wrote is titled "Honky Tonk Teachers" which mentions Keiths name- it says " I cut my teeth on Lefty just like Keith Whitley did". You know there are alot of great singers and I've been influenced my some of them, but in my opinion Keith is the best. He sang with so much feelin' and emotion, and the vocal trills he did were incredible. Keith was one of a kind and it's unfortunate he's gone. But he's not forgotten, as long as I'm alive I'll continue to talk about Keith wherever I go. One of my future goals is to record a song Keith wrote or recorded. (on Kens 2nd album, Ken recorded "I went crazy for awhile" written by Keith).
Well I just want to say thanks for not only supportin' Keith Whitley, but for supportin' Country Music. I hope to see y'all out on the road when we come to your town.
Thanks and may God Bless,