‘Small Town Saturday Night’ Singer Hal Ketchum Dies Aged 67

‘Small Town Saturday Night’ Singer Hal Ketchum Dies Aged 67

Lauren Leadingham

Hal’s wife revealed last year that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia

After a battle with dementia, country singer/songwriter/drummer Hal Ketchum has passed away at the age of 67. His wife, Andrea, confirmed in a statement today, “With great sadness and grief we announce that Hal passed away peacefully last night at home due to complications of Dementia.” Continuing, “May his music live on forever in your hearts and bring you peace.”

Raised in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, Ketchum began drumming at age 15. He went to Nashville in 1986 to write songs, and a few years years later released his debut album, Threadbare Alibis.

Ketchum released nine albums for Curb Records. He released his first Curb album, Past the Point of Rescue, in 1991. The first single, “Small Town Saturday Night,” reached number two. The second single, “I Know Where Love Lies,” reached number 13. In 1992, he scored two more hits and released his third album, Sure, Love, which earned three Top 20 hits, including “Hearts Are Gonna Roll.” In 1994, he released his fourth album, Every Little Word, producing two Top 40 hits. That same year he got inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.

“There is an indescribable place on that stage where it feels like you are a part of history, a very fine history, and I really like that a lot. I felt the magic of the Opry the first time, and, so, I came to it in amazement.” – Hal Ketchum

Thank you, Hal❤️ pic.twitter.com/MBIolt6srd

— Grand Ole Opry (@opry) November 24, 2020

Another song, “Stay Forever” (written with Benmont Tench of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), reached the country top ten in 1995.

Ketchum has acted, appearing in the films Heartbreak Hotel and Maverick. He’s also collaborated with singers Dolly Parton and Shelby Lynne.

*Feature image: Grand Ole Opry’s Twitter

Dolly Parton Will Read Bedtime Stories to Your Kids Every Week

To all of us fans, she’s Dolly Parton. To little people, she’s “the Book Lady.” Today the singer/songwriter started a 10-week online series in which she reads a children’s book at bedtime, selecting books from her Imagination Library. You and your child can watch the “Goodnight with Dolly” readings streamed on YouTube on Thursdays at 7 p.m. EST. As the mother of a toddler, I am ever thankful that I can add Dolly to my presently scant list of family diversions during this challenging time.

Dolly’s Imagination Library book gifting project was started in 1995 to serve children in her home county in East Tennessee. The program now spans four countries and sends over one million free books each month to children registered for the program.

Imagination Library was inspired by her father who never had a chance to go to school, like most rural folk back then, because he had to provide for a family. Her father could not read or write, and was often embarrassed about it. Watching someone she loved so much grapple with such difficulties as not being able to complete forms or read to his children steered her toward the Imagination Library. And through the program, Dolly nurtures a love of reading in young children. 

“When I was growing up in the hills of East Tennessee, I knew my dreams would come true. I know there are children in your community with their own dreams. They dream of becoming a doctor or an inventor or a minister. Who knows, maybe there is a little girl whose dream is to be a writer and singer. The seeds of these dreams are often found in books and the seeds you help plant in your community can grow across the world.”

Dolly has also donated $1M to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center for research on a coronavirus cure. “My longtime friend Dr. Naji Abumrad, who’s been involved in research at Vanderbilt for many years, informed me that they were making some exciting advancements towards research of the coronavirus for a cure,” her Instagram states.

Here is Dolly Parton reading the first book in the “Goodnight with Dolly” series, The Little Engine That Could, which premiered this evening: