Eddy Arnold (May 15, 1918 - May 8, 2008) was a country music star, songwriter, and TV host with smooth, clear crooner vocals and a great deal of crossover appeal who became famous beginning in the late 1940s. With an astounding 28 #1 hits on the Country charts spanning two decades, his many signature songs include such emotive and heartfelt ballads as "I'll Hold You In My Heart (Till I Can Hold You In My Arms)" (1947), "Bouquet Of Roses" (1948), "The Last Word In Lonesome Is Me" (1966), "I Want To Go With You" (1966), and "Make The World Go Away" (1966).
Born Richard Edward Arnold on a farm near Henderson, Tennessee into a musical family, his mother played the guitar and his father the fiddle. Arnold began playing the guitar as a child and at age 11, was forced to leave school temporarily after his father's passing so that he could help out on the farm. By his early teens, he was performing at dances and other school functions and in 1934, at age 16, he made his radio debut on WTJS-AM in Jackson, Tennessee. While continuing to perform at local nightclubs and other venues, he became a popular attraction on radio and amassed a loyal following. By the early 1940s, Arnold was performing on the Grand Ole Opry with Pee Wee King's Golden West Cowboys, and in 1944, he landed a contract with RCA Victor and signed with Colonel Tom Parker who would later also manage Elvis Presley. Arnold began working for television in the early 1950s and hosted his own TV variety show.
Eddy Arnold debuted in 1945 on the Country charts with "Each Minute Seems Like A Million Years," which made the Top 5 and became the first in a very long string of hits (many of which he co-wrote) that continued through 1983. He scored his first Country #1s in early 1947 with "What Is Life Without Love" and "It's A Sin," and his fame continued to take off later that year with "I'll Hold You In My Heart (Till I Can Hold You In My Arms)," another Country chart-topper and the first of many hits to cross over to the Pop charts. Arnold numerous other Country #1s that also became Pop/Rock hits include "Anytime" (1948), "Bouquet Of Roses" (1948), "Texarkana Baby" (1948), "Just A Little Lovin' (Will Go A Long, Long Way)" (1948), "A Heart Full Of Love (For A Handful Of Kisses)" (1948), "Don't Rob Another Man's Castle" (1949), "One Kiss Too Many" (1949), "I'm Throwing Rice (At The Girl That I Love)" (1949), "The Cattle Call" (1955), "What's He Doing In My World" (1965), "I Want To Go With You" (1966), and "Make The World Go Away" (1966), the latter two of which also topped the Adult Contemporary chart. Other Country #1s that also became Pop/Rock hits include "Somebody Like Me" (1966), "Lonely Again" (1967), "Turn The World Around" (1967), and his country pop cover of The Casinos' "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" (1968). His many other crossover favorites include "What A Fool I Was" (1948), "Then I Turned And Walked Slowly Away" (1949), "I Wouldn't Know Where To Begin" (1956), "The Last Word In Lonesome Is Me" (1966), and "The Tip Of My Fingers" (1966). Arnold's final charting songs include an updated version of "Cattle Call" (1999, with LeAnn Rimes) and "To Life" (2008), a song released by RCA shortly after his passing that is included on his final album, "After All These Years" (2005).
Eddy Arnold remains among country music's all-time top selling artists, with over 85 million records sold to date. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1966, then the youngest performer to receive this honor. His numerous other honors and accolades included being named CMA's Entertainer of the Year in 1967 and receiving the ACM Pioneer Award (1984), the National Medal of Arts (2000), and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (2005). In 1998, "Make The World Go Away," the song for which he is most famous, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
- The Los Angeles Times remembers Eddy Arnold.
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- I Want To Go With You 1966
- The Last Word In Lonesome Is Me 1966
- Make The World Go Away 1965
(This song was previously a hit for Timi Yuro (1963) and Ray Price (1963) and later became a hit for Donny & Marie Osmond (1975). Eddy Arnold's version, which topped both the Adult Contemporary and Country charts and became a Top 10 pop hit, is the best known rendition of this country-pop classic.)
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