Contact Us

28 Years Ago: Keith Whitley Hits No. 1 With ‘I’m No Stranger to the Rain’

Keith Whitley Don't Close Your Eyes Cover

Twenty-eight years ago today (April 8, 1989), Keith Whitley earned his third consecutive No. 1 hit with his single “I’m No Stranger to the Rain,” from his Don’t Close Your Eyes album. The song followed both the title track of the album and Whitley’s big hit “When You Say Nothing at All” in reaching the top of the charts.

Unfortunately for Whitley, while his career was soaring, “I’m No Stranger to the Rain” would be the last single he saw claim the No. 1 spot. As the 34-year-old could be heard over the airwaves singing “If I don’t keep my head up, I may drown / But it’s hard to keep believing / I’ll even come out even / While the rain beats your hope in the ground / And tonight it’s really coming down,” he was battling an ongoing alcohol addiction that ultimately claimed his life one month later.

Whitley was found dead in his home on May 9, 1989, with his blood alcohol level at six times the legal limit to drive. His cause of death was attributed to acute alcohol poisoning. The country crooner’s death shook the music community, including Whitley’s good friend, Vince Gill, who began writing “Go Rest High on That Mountain” following Whitley’s death. Gill wrote the first verse after Whitley’s passing and finished it a few years later, when his brother Bob passed away.

Whitley had two more songs, “I Wonder Do You Think of Me” and “It Ain’t Nothin,” become No. 1 hits after his death. “I’m No Stranger to the Rain” is available for download on iTunes.

Country Singers We Lost Too Soon

NEXT: Is Traditional Country Music Dead?

Recommended for You

Around the Web

Best of The Boot

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for The Boot quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!