Country superstar Eddy Arnold, whose 1965 hit “Make the World Go Away” helped get him elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame the following year, died at a care facility near Nashville Thursday morning, a week shy of his 90th birthday on May 15, the Associated Press reports.
In 1967, the clean-cut country boy with the mellow baritone was the first recipient of the entertainer of the year award from the Country Music Association, and was renowned for lending his voice to the “countrypolitan” Nashville sound, to which he was considered a pioneer.
His other hits included “Cattle Call,” “The Last Word in Lonesome Is Me,” “Anytime,” “Bouquet of Roses,” “What’s He Doing in My World?” “I Want to Go With You,” “Somebody Like Me,” “Lonely Again” and “Turn the World Around.”
Born on a farm near Henderson, Tenn., the son of a sharecropper, Arnold sang on small radio stations in Tennessee and Missouri before building a devoted national audience. Col. Tom Parker, who later shaped the career of Elvis Presley, managed Arnold early in his career.
“I sing a little country, I sing a little pop and I sing a little folk, and it all goes together,” Arnold said in 1970.
His wife of 66 years, Sally, died this past March, the same month Arnold fell outside his suburban Nashville home and injured his hip.
Survivors listed by the AP include a son, Richard Edward Arnold Jr., and daughter, Jo Ann Pollard, both of Brentwood, Tenn.