Hal Ketchum, ‘Small Town Saturday Night’ singer, dead at 67

Singer Hal Ketchum, whose 1991 hit “Small Town Saturday Night” hit No. 2 on the country music charts, died Monday. He was 67.

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Hal Ketchum, a Grand Ole Opry member, died of complications from dementia, The Tennessean reported. Ketchum’s wife, Andrea Ketchum, confirmed the news in a Facebook post Tuesday.

“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 the singer’s Facebook page. “May his music live on forever in your hearts and bring you peace.”

With great sadness and grief we announce that Hal passed away peacefully last night at home due to complications of Dementia. May his music live on forever in your hearts and bring you peace. Andrea

Posted by Hal Ketchum on Tuesday, November 24, 2020

In April 2019, Andrea Ketchum revealed that her husband had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, People reported.

Born in Greenwich, New York, in 1953, Hal Michael Ketchum learned the drums as a teenager and joined local bands, relocating to Florida and Texas before settling in Nashville, Tennessee, Rolling Stone reported. Ketchum was still in Texas when he released his first album, “Threadbare Alibis,” the magazine reported.

In 1991, Ketchum signed with Curb Records and released “Past the Point of Rescue,” The Tennessean reported. The album included the hit, “Small Town Saturday Night,” which climbed to No. 2 on the Billboard country music charts.

Ketchum earned gold with the album, with the Top-15 songs “I Know Where Love Lives” and “Past The Point Of Rescue,” the latter of which also reached No. 2 on the Billboard chart, Rolling Stone reported.

His 1992 follow-up album, “Sure Love,” delivered three Top-10 songs: “Sure Love,” “Hearts Are Gonna Roll” and “Mama Knows The Highway.” Other hits during the 1990s included “(Tonight We Just Might) Fall in Love Again” and “Stay Forever.”

Ketchum joined the Grand Ole Opry on Jan. 22, 1994, according to the show’s website.

In 1998, Ketchum was diagnosed with acute transverse myelitis, a type of spinal inflammation, that caused temporary paralysis, The Tennessean reported.

After learning how to walk and play guitar again, Ketchum continued to release music on Curb Records on 2008, when he announced his retirement and returned to Texas, the newspaper reported.

Ketchum released his final album, “I’m The Troubadour,” in 2014. He would perform live until 2018 when dementia set in, according to The Tennessean.

Ketchum also appeared in the 1988 film “Heartbreak Hotel” and 1994′s “Maverick,” the newspaper reported.

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