The first artist to successfully and consistently blend country and pop music into a new hybrid, Eddy Arnold was a pioneer of what became known as "the Nashville Sound." He introduced country music to a broad audience, registering 37 pop hits and nearly 150 country hits. He charted records in six decades, and, in 1948 alone, held the No. 1 position on the country charts for all but two weeks.
Richard Edward Arnold was born May 15, 1918, on a farm in Chester County, Tennessee, about 20 miles south of Jackson. After his father's death in 1929, the family fell upon hard times, so Arnold supplemented the family income by singing on the radio in Jackson. When he was 16, he moved to Memphis, and in 1938, to St. Louis, Missouri. After hearing that Nashville-based Grand Ole Opry star Pee Wee King was losing his vocalist. Arnold auditioned for King's Golden West Cowboys. He joined in January 1940, staying until 1943. During that time, he became popular on the Opry and was hired as a solo act after he left King.
In 1944, Arnold signed with RCA Victor Records between 1944 and 1953, Arnold was managed by Colonel Tom Parker, who would later
Arnold scored 28 No. 1 country hits. 12 of them in the 1940s, including "That's How Much I Love You," "It's a Sin," and "I'll Hold You In My Heart." An unabashed populist, Arnold expanded his following with warm mellifluous vocals and increasingly full instrumentation. The strings and arrangement on his 1953 recording of "I Really Don't Want to Know" foretold the country-pop blend soon to be called "the Nashville Sound."
Rock 'n' roll dealt a setback to his career, but he returned in 1959 with the folk song "Tennessee Stud," and then as a pop crooner. His mid-60s hits included "What's He Doing in My World" and "Make the World Go Away." The latter topped the country charts and reached No. 6 on the pop charts. Fronting full symphony orchestras, he appeared regularly on national television, in Las Vegas and on national concert tours.
In 1966, Eddy Arnold was elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the following year he became the first Entertainer of the Year at the Country Music Association awards show. In the face of the slowly declining sales, Arnold semiretired. Mindful of the poverty of his youth, he had
In 1998, on his 80th birthday, Arnold announced his permanent retirement from touring. He died in Nashville on May 8, 2008, one week before his 90th birthday.
Three weeks after Arnold's death, his last single, "To Life," spent one week on the country charts, setting a record for the longest span between the first and last chart single: 62 years and 11 months.
Erected by Tennessee Music Pathways.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment. A significant historical month for this entry is January 1940.
Location. 35° 26.345′ N, 88° 38.472′ W. Marker is in Henderson, Tennessee, in Chester County. Marker is at the intersection of East Main Street (Tennessee Route 365) and South Washington Avenue, on the right when traveling east on East Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 101 E Main St, Henderson TN 38340, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Tornado of 1952 (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Henderson at War (about 400 feet away); Chester County War Memorial (about 400 feet away); Fighting For Control (about 400 feet away); Historic Front Street (about 400
Credits. This page was last revised on June 8, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 31, 2021, by David Austin of Scotts Hill, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 37 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on May 31, 2021, by David Austin of Scotts Hill, Tennessee. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.