Eddy Arnold (Wikimedia Commons/RCA Victor Records)
Eddy Arnold – born 95 years ago – was one of the greats of country music. From traditional country music to the innovative Nashville sound, Arnold continued to record throughout his life and kept his music current.
His approach worked: with 147 career singles on the Billboard country charts, he is second only to George Jones in chartability. At 48, Arnold became the youngest performer ever inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame. He was a Grand Ole Opry member, a Grammy Hall of Fame honoree, received a lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy, and was awarded the National Medal of Arts.
In this June 8, 1959 file photo, Eddy Arnold performs at the Rotary International Convention in Madison Square Garden in New York. Arnold, whose mellow baritone on songs like "Make the World Go Away" made him one of the most successful country singers in history, died at a care facility near Nashville Thursday morning May 8, 2008. He was 89. (AP Photo/John Lent,File)
But with all of Eddy Arnold's achievements, there's one that truly stands out – one that demonstrates like no other just how beloved his music was over the years: Arnold holds the record for the longest span of time between first and last singles to hit the charts, with his 147th single coming more than six decades after his first.
That first single hit the country music charts – and country listeners' hearts – on June 30, 1945. "Each Minute Seems a Million Years" was classic pre-Nashville-sound country music, and it peaked at No. 5. A year later he had his first No. 1 country hit, "What Is Life Without Love".
For decades, Eddy Arnold continued to chart singles his fans loved. And it was an amazing 62 years and 11 months after that first hit that Arnold reached the country music charts for the last time. Released on May 31, 2008 – three weeks after Arnold’s death – "To Life" made it to No. 49, buoyed by the memory of more than half a century of favorites from the country superstar.
Written by Linnea Crowther