Eddy had a voice that competed easily with the pop stars of the day. He eased from hillbilly music into the mainstream and had a second career in the ’60s.
HENDERSON, Tenn. (PRWEB) April 30, 2021
Chester County native Eddy Arnold will be honored by the State of Tennessee with a new Tennessee Music Pathways marker at the Sue Shelton White Park in downtown Henderson. The unveiling is set for Friday, May 14, 2021, at 11 a.m.
Known as the Tennessee Plowboy, Arnold spent his early years on a Chester County farm. His long, distinguished musical career led him from the cotton fields to the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame, the White House and Carnegie Hall. He charted top hits for more than half-century. Altogether, Arnold sold more than 85 million records, making him one of the most successful artists of the 20th century. RCA Records released his 100th album, “After All These Years,” in 2005.
“Eddy Arnold sold 85 million records,” Jimmy Melton, local musician and songwriter successfully pursuing a musical career in Nashville, said. “What makes that even more impressive is the fact that his early hits were during World War II, when rationing was underway. He sold so many that they ran out of shellac at the record pressing plant.”
“Eddy had a voice that competed easily with the pop stars of the day. He eased from hillbilly music into mainstream and had a second career in the ’60s. In addition to music, he had an outstanding career in real estate,” Melton continued. “Not bad for a farm boy from Henderson, Tennessee.”
Launched by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development in 2018, Tennessee Music Pathways is an online planning guide that connects visitors to the state’s rich musical heritage at tnmusicpathways.com. From the largest cities to the smallest communities, Tennessee Music Pathways stretches across all 95 counties and features hundreds of landmarks from the seven genres of music that call Tennessee home: blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll. Historians identified more than 300 points of interest to date, and additional markers will be installed for years to come.
In 1944 Arnold cut his first record, “Each Minute Seems a Million Years,” which became his first charting record. In 1945, he recorded “Cattle Call.” Although not a hit at the time, it became his theme song.
In 1946, he recorded “That’s How Much I Love You.” Within the next four years, his recordings included “Anytime” and “I’ll Hold You in My Heart,” which sold over a million records. The single spent 46 weeks on the charts, with 21 of those at the top; it also crossed over to the pop charts, reaching the Top 30. In the process, it became the number one single of the decade. It had been 11 years since he “lit out” from Chester County.
Arnold became a familiar face in the early '50s, not only to country fans but also to the general public. He toured all of the U.S. and several foreign countries and was the first country star to have his own television show, “Eddy Arnold Time.” His string of Top 10 hits remained unbroken. The number of country hits remains amazing to this day: seven in 1950 and 13 in 1951.
Despite a drop in hits for a period of time in the late ’50s and early ’60s, Arnold began a new era of dominance in 1965 with “What's He Doing in My World.” Not only did he return to the top of the country charts, he once again crossed over to the pop charts. Arnold's second streak of major hits ran until 1969. During this time, he earned several number one and Top 10 singles, all of which were pop hits as well, including “Make the World Go Away” and “The Last Word in Lonesome Is Me.” The crossover hits led to Arnold’s being credited with creating the Nashville Sound. Hits were fewer in the ’70s and ’80s, but he did have three in the ’70s and two in the ’80s, making him one of the few artists who charted in seven different decades.
More information on the event is available at facebook.com/HendersonChesterChamber.