The story of Keith Whitley is a tragic one. He was a child prodigy, becoming well-known in the country and bluegrass circles before his 15th birthday; when he went solo in the 1980s, he quickly became a country star on the level of George Strait and Randy Travis. But alcohol was a constant demon, and in May of 1989, he was found dead, at the extremely young age of 34. It was a tragic loss; here was a young man who had appeared five years before, and for whom every album was a commercial and critical success.
“I’m No Stranger To The Rain” was released in January 1989, six months before his death. It’s a melancholy number, made more so considering his untimely passing. It was, of course, a number one, and rightly so; it’s a beautiful ballad, and proof that this young man had a very promising career ahead of him.