One Of My Favorite Country Stars Is Sick
Anyone who has known me over the years knows that one of my favorite country singers is Hal Ketchum, or my "mental love puppy" as my former Program Director Henry Keith Todd used to say. I got some very sad news, 66-year-old Hal Ketchum has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and Dementia.
It's not that Ketchum is the most talented artist out there, but I've always liked his voice and thought he was pretty sexy in his younger days. There's just something about that salt and pepper hair that was appealing. He's been out of the mainstream country music scene for a while now, though he continues to tour, and he hasn't been around for many awards shows. I first fell in love with him when he had the song and video Past the Point of Rescue out. Of course, I liked most everything he did, like, Small Town Saturday Night, I Know Where Love Lives, Sure Love, Mama Knows The Highway, Five O'Clock World, Stay Forever and (Tonight We Just Might) Fall In Love Again.
Over his career, Ketchum released 11 studio albums and had 9 singles that charted at number 20 or above. I was blessed a few decades ago to get to introduce him on stage once here in Billings (hence the older grainy photo) and then got to meet him again while in Memphis at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
His wife posted recently on social media about his condition, Here is the Facebook post that his wife Andrea made:
Dear friends and fans of Hal, this is Andrea, Hal's wife.
I know everyone is wondering why there are no future tour dates, and speculations as to the reason. Our family would like to share the cause for this. Unfortunately, Hal is suffering from Alzheimer's/ Dementia. He has been battling this for some time now, but because of his love for his fans, he continued performing as long as it was possible.
Dementia is an exhausting and confusing illness and now it's time for Hal to stay home with loved ones. Hal is otherwise healthy and happy, enjoying time with his family and friends. We all deeply appreciate how much love that you all have for Hal and how much his music means to you! Also, a heartfelt thank you to all the incredible musicians that have joined him on this journey, with more than special love to Kenny Grimes, without whom , this last year of shows would not have been possible. Please know that I do read all of your comments to Hal and that we will continue to check in from time to time.
Lots of love and appreciation to you all from Hal and the entire Ketchum family. ❤
My thoughts and prayers are with Hal and his family during this time. I know from experience what his family is going through. I watched my dad struggle as he dealt with this horrible disease leading up to his passing over three years ago. It can be a long and stressful journey that he is on.