Richard Edward "Eddy" Arnold (May 15, 1918 – May 8, 2008) was an
American country music singer who performed for six decades. He was a
Nashville sound (country/popular music) innovator of the late 1950s,
and scored 147 songs on the Billboard country music charts, second
only to George Jones. He sold more than 85 million records. A member
Grand Ole Opry
Grand Ole Opry (beginning 1943) and the Country Music Hall of
Fame (beginning 1966), Arnold ranked 22nd on Country Music
Television's 2003 list of "The 40 Greatest Men of Country Music."
1 Early years
2 Second career: The Nashville sound
3 Later years and death
6 External links
Arnold was born on May 15, 1918, on a farm near Henderson, Tennessee.
His father, a sharecropper, played the fiddle, while his mother played
guitar. Arnold's father died when he was just 11, forcing him to leave
school and begin helping on the family farm. This led to him later
gaining his nickname—the Tennessee Plowboy. One of his brothers, PFC
John Hendrix Arnold, fought in World War II and died in the Normandy
landings. Arnold attended
Pinson High School in Pinson, Tennessee,
where he played guitar for school functions and events. He quit before
graduation to help with the farm work, but continued performing, often
arriving on a mule with his guitar hung on his back. Arnold also
worked part-time as an assistant at a mortuary.
Downtown Henderson, Tennessee, the city near which Arnold was born
In 1934, at age 16, Arnold made his debut on WTJS-AM in Jackson,
Tennessee. He began performing at local nightclubs and was hired
permanently by WTJS in 1937. In 1938, he was hired by WMPS-AM in
Memphis, Tennessee, where he was one of its most popular performers.
He soon left WMPS for KWK-AM in St. Louis, Missouri, followed
briefly by a spot at WHAS-AM in Louisville, Kentucky.
He performed for
WSM (AM) on the
Grand Ole Opry
Grand Ole Opry during 1943 as a solo
artist. In 1944, Arnold signed a contract with RCA Victor, and with
manager Colonel Tom Parker, who would later manage Elvis Presley.
Arnold's first single was little noticed, but the next, "Each
Minute Seems a Million Years", scored number five on the country
charts in 1945. Its success began a decade of unprecedented chart
performance; Arnold's next 57 singles all ranked in the top 10,
including 19 number-one successes.
In 1946, Arnold scored his first major success with "That's How Much I
Love You". In 1948, he had five successful songs on the charts
simultaneously. That year, he had nine songs in the top 10; five of
these were number one and scored there for 40 of the year's 52 weeks.
With Parker's management, Arnold continued to dominate, with 13 of the
20 best-scoring country music songs of 1947–1948. He became the
host of Mutual Radio's Purina-sponsored segment of the Opry and of
Mutual's Checkerboard Jamboree, a midday program shared with Ernest
Tubb that was broadcast from a Nashville theater. Recorded radio
programs increased Arnold's popularity, as did the
CBS Radio series
Hometown Reunion with the Duke of Paducah. Arnold quit the Opry during
1948, and his Hometown Reunion briefly broadcast in competition with
the Opry on Saturday nights. In 1949 and 1950, he performed in the
Columbia movies Feudin’ Rhythm and Hoedown.
Arnold began working for television in the early 1950s, hosting The
Eddy Arnold Show. The summer program was broadcast successively by all
three television networks, replacing the
Perry Como and Dinah Shore
programs. He also performed as a guest and a guest host on the
Ozark Jubilee from 1955–60. Arnold featured in the
Eddy Arnold Time
Eddy Arnold Time from 1955 to 1957. From 1960 to 1961,
he hosted NBC-TV's Today on the Farm.
In 1955, he asked songwriter
Cindy Walker to write a song for him
based on the idea of unrequited love, with the title "You Don't Know
Me". They share co-credit for writing the song.
Second career: The Nashville sound
With the rise of rock and roll in the mid 1950s, Arnold's record sales
began to decline, though fellow
RCA Victor country recording artist
Jim Reeves found a greater audience with popular-sounding string-laced
arrangements. Arnold annoyed many in the country music establishment
by recording with
Hugo Winterhalter and his
Orchestra at the RCA
Victor studios in New York. Winterhalter's pop-oriented arrangements
of "The Cattle Call" and "The Richest Man (in the World)", however,
helped to expand Arnold's appeal beyond its country music base.
This style, pioneered by Reeves and Arnold, became known as the
"Nashville Sound". During 1953, Arnold and Tom Parker had a
dispute, and Arnold dismissed him. From 1954 to 1963, Arnold's
performances were managed by Joe Csida; in 1964, Csida was replaced by
Arnold embarked on a second career that brought his music to a more
diverse audience. In the summer of 1965, he had his first number-one
country song in 10 years, "What's He Doing in My World" and struck
gold again six months later with the song that became his most
well-known, "Make the World Go Away", accompanied by pianist Floyd
Cramer on piano and featuring the Anita Kerr Singers. As a result,
Arnold's rendition became an international success. "Make The World Go
Away" became his only top ten pop hit.
Bill Walker's orchestra arrangements provided the lush background for
16 continuous successes sung by Arnold in the late 1960s. Arnold
performed with symphony orchestras in New York City, Las Vegas, and
Hollywood. He performed in
Carnegie Hall for two concerts, and in the
Coconut Grove in Las Vegas. In 1966, Arnold was inducted into the
Country Music Hall of Fame, the youngest performer to receive the
honor. The following year, Arnold was voted the first-ever awarded
Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year. Two years
later, he released an autobiography named It's A Long Way From Chester
Having been with
RCA Victor since 1944, Arnold left the label in 1973
for MGM Records, where he recorded four albums, which included several
top-40 successes. He returned to RCA in 1976.
Later years and death
During the 1980s, Arnold declared himself semiretired, but he
continued recording. In 1984, the
Academy of Country Music awarded
Arnold its Pioneer Award. His next album, You Don't Miss A Thing, was
not released until 1991. Arnold performed road tours for several
more years. By 1992, he had sold nearly 85 million records, and
had a total of 145 weeks of number-one songs, more than any other
In 1996, RCA issued an album of Arnold's main successes since 1944 as
part of its 'Essential' series. Arnold, then 76 years old, retired
from active singing, though he still performed occasionally. On
May 16, 1998, the day after his 80th birthday, he announced his final
retirement during a concert at the Hotel Orleans in Las Vegas.
That same year, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
inducted the recording of "Make The World Go Away" into the Grammy
Hall of Fame. In 2000, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts.
In 2005, Arnold received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the
Recording Academy, and later that year, released a final album for
RCA entitled After All These Years.
Arnold died from natural causes on May 8, 2008, in a nursing home in
Nashville, exactly one week before his 90th birthday. His wife of 66
years, Sally Gayhart Arnold, had preceded him in death by two months.
They were survived by two children (Richard E. Arnold, Jr., and JoAnn
Arnold Pollard), two grandchildren (K. Michelle Pollard and R. Shannon
Pollard, Jr.), and four great-grandchildren (Katie E. Pollard, Sophie
Pollard, Rowan Pollard, and Ben Johns).
On May 31, 2008, RCA released "To Life" as a single from the album
After All These Years. It debuted at number 49 on the Hot Country
Songs charts, Arnold's first entry in 25 years and the recording by
the oldest person to chart in Billboard magazine. It set the record
for the longest span between a first chart single and a last: 62 years
and 11 months ("Each Minute Seems Like a Million Years" debuted on
June 30, 1945), and extended Arnold's career chart history to seven
For a list of singles and albums, see
Eddy Arnold discography.
^ PFC John Hendrix Arnold on Find a Grave
^ a b c d e f g h Stambler, Irwin; Grelun Landon; Lyndon Stambler
(2000). Country Music: An Encyclopedia. Macmillan Publishers.
pp. 17–19. ISBN 978-0-312-26487-1. Retrieved July 15,
^ a b Streissguth, Michael (1997). Eddy Arnold: Pioneer of the
Nashville Sound. New York: Schirmer Books.
^ "What's Your Question?". Ask.com. Archived from the original on
2010-01-10. Retrieved 2012-05-01.
^ "Heartaches By the Number", Cantwell, David & Friskics-Warren,
Bill, 2003, Vanderbilt University Press, pg. 146
^ Pugh, Ronnie (1998). Ernest Tubb: The Texas Troubadour. Duke
University Press. ISBN 978-0-8223-2190-3.
^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (1992). The Complete Directory to Prime
Time Network TV Shows. Ballantine Books.
^ Weekly program listings (1955–1960), Triangle Publications TV
Guide, Vols. 3-8
^ McNeil, Alex (1996). Total Television. Penguin Books.
^ a b c d e Rumble, John (1998). Paul Kingsbury, ed. The Encyclopedia
of Country Music. Oxford University Press.
^ Ward, Ed (2016). The History of Rock & Roll, volume one,
1920–1963. New York: Flatiron Books. p. 103.
^ Flippo, Chet (May 8, 2008). "NASHVILLE SKYLINE: Remembering Eddy
Arnold". Country Music Television. Retrieved July 15, 2009.
^ "Country legend
Eddy Arnold dies". MSNBC. Associated Press. May 8,
2008. Retrieved July 15, 2009. [dead link]
^ "CMA Awards Ceremonies". Country Music Association. 2009. Retrieved
July 15, 2009.
^ Arnold, Eddy (1969). It's A Long Way From Chester County. Old
Tappan, New Jersey: Hewitt House.
Eddy Arnold resumes his singing career". Saint Petersburg Times.
February 7, 1991. Retrieved July 15, 2009.
^ Paskevich, Michael (May 14, 1999). "Calling It Quits". Las Vegas
^ Lifetime Honors –
National Medal of Arts
National Medal of Arts Archived 2011-07-21 at
the Wayback Machine.
^ "Jerry Lee Lewis wins Achievement Award". USA Today. Associated
Press. January 5, 2005. Retrieved July 15, 2009.
^ Gormly, Kellie B. (October 2, 2005). "Arnold offers gem for
traditionalists with 100th album". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Archived
from the original on January 1, 2011. Retrieved July 15, 2009.
^ Pugh, Ronnie (May 8, 2008). "
Country Music Hall of Fame
Country Music Hall of Fame Member Eddy
Arnold Dies at Age 89". Country Music Television. Retrieved July 15,
^ "Eddy Arnold's "To Life" Stretches Chart Success Into Seventh
Decade". Country Music Television. May 19, 2008. Retrieved July 15,
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Eddy Arnold.
Eddy Arnold at Find a Grave
The Times of London obituary
Eddy Arnold at the Country Music Hall of Fame
I Want to Go with You
The Everlovin' World of Eddy Arnold
So Many Ways/If the Whole World Stopped Lovin'
"Bouquet of Roses"
"The Cattle Call"
"Don't Rob Another Man's Castle"
"Easy on the Eyes"
"Gonna Find Me a Bluebird"
"A Heart Full of Love (For a Handful of Kisses)"
"I Really Don't Want to Know"
"I Walk Alone"
"I Wanna Play House With You"
"I Want to Go with You"
"I'll Hold You in My Heart"
I'll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms)"
"I'm Throwing Rice (At the Girl That I Love)"
"If I Had You"
"It's a Sin"
"Just a Little Lovin' (Will Go a Long Way)"
"Just Call Me Lonesome"
"Make the World Go Away"
"May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You"
"San Francisco is a Lonely Town"
"Somebody Like Me"
"Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye"
"There's Been a Change in Me"
"The Tip of My Fingers"
"Trouble in Mind"
"Turn the World Around"
"What Is Life Without Love"
"What's He Doing in My World"
"The Wheel of Hurt"
"When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again"
"You Don't Know Me"
Eddy Arnold Show
Eddy Arnold Time
Members of the Grand Ole Opry
David "Stringbean" Akeman
Bashful Brother Oswald
Binkley Brothers' Dixie Clodhoppers
Jim Ed Brown
Carl Butler and Pearl
The Carter Sisters
June Carter Cash
Wilma Lee Cooper
Dailey & Vincent
The Delmore Brothers
The DeZurik Sisters
Little Jimmy Dickens
The Duke of Paducah
The Everly Brothers
The Gully Jumpers
Tom T. Hall
George Hamilton IV
George D. Hay
Jim & Jesse
Johnnie & Jack
Pee Wee King
Little Big Town
Lonzo and Oscar
The Louvin Brothers
Uncle Dave Macon
Jimmy C. Newman
The Oak Ridge Boys
Old Crow Medicine Show
Riders in the Sky
Rusty and Doug
Ricky Van Shelton
Fiddlin' Arthur Smith
B. J. Thomas
Uncle Jimmy Thompson
Tompall & the Glaser Brothers
Leroy Van Dyke
The Wilburn Brothers
The Willis Brothers
Country Music Hall of Fame
Country Music Hall of Fame 1960s
Jimmie Rodgers (1961)
Fred Rose (1961)
Hank Williams (1961)
Roy Acuff (1962)
Tex Ritter (1964)
Ernest Tubb (1965)
Eddy Arnold (1966)
James R. "Jim" Denny (1966)
George D. Hay (1966)
Uncle Dave Macon
Uncle Dave Macon (1966)
Red Foley (1967)
J.L. (Joe) Frank (1967)
Jim Reeves (1967)
Stephen H. Sholes (1967)
Bob Wills (1968)
Gene Autry (1969)
ISNI: 0000 0001 1507 0317
BNF: cb13890896w (data)