April 9.2014 – The Story Behind “I’m No Stranger To The Rain” by Keith Whitley

Hear the story here!

Hear the outro here!

25 years ago on the week of April 8, 1989, Keith Whitley earned his third consecutive No. 1 hit, for his single, ‘I’m No Stranger to the Rain,’ from his ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’ album.

The song followed both the title track of the album and his big hit, ‘When You Say Nothing At All,’ in reaching the top of the charts. Unfortunately for Whitley, while his career was soaring, ‘I’m No Stranger to the Rain’ would be the last single he saw claim the No. 1 spot.

Ironically, just as the 34-year-old could be heard over the airwaves singing, “If I don’t keep my head up, I may drown / But it’s hard to keep believing / I’ll even come out even / While the rain beats your hope in the ground / And tonight it’s really coming down,” he was battling an ongoing alcohol addiction that ultimately claimed his life one month later.

Whitley was found dead in his home on May 9, with his blood alcohol level six times the legal limit to drive. His cause of death was attributed to acute alcohol poisoning.

The country crooner’s death shook the music community, including Whitley’s good friend, Vince Gill, who began writing ‘Go Rest High on That Mountain’ following his death. Gill wrote the first verse after Whitley’s passing, and finished it a few years later, when Gill’s brother, Bob, passed away.

Whitley had two more songs, ‘I Wonder Do You Think of Me’ and ‘It Ain’t Nothin,’ which were also No. 1 hits after his death.

LYRICS: Sonny Curtis, Ron Hellard
I’m no stranger to the rain
I’m a friend of thunder
Friend, is it any wonder lightning strikes me
I’ve fought with the devil
Got down on his level
But I never gave in, so he gave up on me

I’m no stranger to the rain
I can spot bad weather
And I’m good at finding shelter in a downpour
I’ve been sacrificed by brothers
Crucified by lovers
But through it all I withstood the pain
I’m no stranger to the rain

But when I get that foggy feeling
When I’m feeling down
If I don’t keep my head up, I may drown
But it’s hard to keep believing
I’ll even come out even
While the rain beats your hope in the ground
And tonight it’s really coming down

I’m no stranger to the rain
But there’ll always be tomorrow
And I’ll beg, steal, or borrow a little sunshine
And I’ll put this cloud behind me
That’s how the Man designed me
To ride the wind and dance in a hurricane
I’m no stranger to the rain

Oh, no, I’m no stranger to the rain

I’m no stranger to the rain
I’m a friend of thunder
Friend, is it any wonder lightning strikes me
But I’ll put this cloud behind me
That’s how the Man designed me
To ride the wind and dance in a hurricane
I’m no stranger to the rain

Oh, no, I’m no stranger to the rain

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About Robynn

Robynn Jaymes has spent her whole life in radio… 30 years!! And almost half of them have been at Star Country. Originally from Cincinnati, Robynn came to the area as a Liberty University student. Along with all things country music, Robynn is a big fan of Football!—The Virginia Tech Hokies, The Washington Redskins and, of course, the Cincinnati Bengals. And also, “I’m addicted to the Weather Channel,” she says. Right now, Robynn is a big fan if the music coming from Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum and Kenny Chesney! Robynn is also a winner of the Billboard Air Personality of the Year award. Hear all new Warm & Fuzzies with Robynn M-F at 11:45AM!

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