- 25 Nov 20
The New York-born, Nashville-based musician's most recent album was 2014’s 'I’m the Troubadour'. Ketchum covered Limerick singer-songwriter Mick Hanly's 'Past The Point of Rescue' in 1991. The track was initially written in 1988 and recorded by Mary Black in 1989.
Grand Ole Opry member and hit country singer Hal Ketchum has died as a result of complications from dementia at the age of 67, his wife Andrea confirmed on Facebook yesterday.
Ketchum was known for his chart-topping tracks 'Small Town Saturday Night', 'I Know Where Love Lives', 'Five O’Clock World', his cover of the Mick Hanly-penned song 'Past The Point of Rescue' and 'I Know Where Love Lives'. You can read Mick Hanly's 2001 interview with Hot Press's Jackie Hayden, which touched on Ketchum's cover of his song, here.
In 1991 up and coming American country singer, Hal Ketchum made 'Past The Point of Rescue' the title track for his first album with Curb Records. On its single release it went to No. 2 in the Billboard Country charts and became the most played country song in 1992, for which Hanly received his first BMI award.
“With great sadness and grief we announce that Hal passed away peacefully last night at home due to complications of dementia,” Andrea Ketchum wrote on her husband's official Facebook. “May his music live on forever in your hearts and bring you peace.”
Born in Greenwich, New York, in 1953, Hal Ketchum learned drums as a teenager before relocating to Florida, then Texas, in the early 1980s.
Later focusing more on his songwriting and performing as he worked the Lone Star State’s clubs, in 1988 he released his first album Threadbare Alibis before setting his sights on Nashville.
Ketchum released his debut album for Curb Records, Past the Point of Rescue, in 1991. It became his highest-selling album, going gold with over 500,000 sales.
In 1992, Sure Love arrived; featuring three country hits; 'Sure Love', 'Hearts Are Gonna Roll,' and 'Mama Knows the Highway'. He earned another Top 10 hit in 1995 with 'Stay Forever,' the lead single from Every Little Word. In 1994, Ketchum was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
The singer-songwriter put out seven more full-length albums through 2014, including 2001’s Lucky Man and 2008’s Father Time.
Ketchum had struggled with alcohol and drug dependency for years before being diagnosed with the spinal condition acute transverse myelitis in 1998, which caused temporary paralysis of his left side and forced him to relearn how to play guitar.
Ketchum moved back to Texas in 2008 and made his final live appearance at Gruene Hall in New Braunfels in October 2018.
Ketchum’s wife Andrea revealed that the singer had retired from touring after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2019.
Feature image credit: Curb Records