Watch A Young Keith Whitley Sing Bluegrass With Ralph Stanley Back In 1977

Keith Whitley country music

Talk about one legend, and a future legend in the making coming together.

For those who aren’t too familiar with Keith Whitley’s past, he actually got his start in music by playing bluegrass.

Hailing from the bluegrass state of Kentucky, Whitley started playing the acoustic guitar and singing bluegrass at a young age, and stepped his toes into the genre at the age of 14, where he and his brother Dwight played together in a musical contest.

There, Whitley competed against future bluegrass star Ricky Skaggs, and the two hit it off and began playing bluegrass music together.

By the time they were 16, they were discovered in Ft. Gay, West Virginia by the bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley, who sang lead vocals for the band The Stanley Brothers.

He even allegedly said the night he watched Whitley and Skaggs perform that they:

“Sounded just like me and Carter (Stanley) in the early days.”

The two then joined The Stanley Brothers band, with Whitley eventually singing lead vocals by 1974, and Skaggs at backup vocals, and played the mandolin.

However, at some point down the line Whitley decided he wanted to pursue a career in country music, and moved to Nashville in 1983, where he signed a record deal with RCA Records, and the rest is history.

With that being said, I was taking a deep dive into the vaults, and found this gem of Whitley performing with The Stanley Brothers back in 1977, at only 23-years-old for a KET Special.

Rocking the baby face, the people sitting in the crowd probably had no idea the greatness they were witnessing, as many believe that Whitley could’ve been the best to ever do it if he hadn’t passed away after a long battle with alcoholism back in 1989.

Check it out:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock