Oh, No! Country Singer Hal Ketchum Quits Touring After Being Diagnosed With Alzheimer’s Disease

Date April 17, 2019 12:53

After being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, country singer-songwriter and Grand Ole Opry member Hal Ketchum has sadly retired from live performance. Throughout the nineties, Ketchum had numerous hits which include Small Town Saturday Night, Hearts Are Gonna Roll and Sure Love.


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His life and career

He was born in Greenwich, New York, in 1953. At the age of 15, Ketchum began performing with a rhythm and blues trio in clubs as a drummer. 

In 1981, he moved to Austin, Texas, where he recorded his first LP, Threadbare Alibis. This led to a publishing deal and a move to Nashville.


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His 1991 debut album for Curb Records, Past the Point of Rescue, sold in excess of 600,000 copies, earning him a gold record. All four singles released from his album reached the country’s Top 20, and a cover of Vogues’ 1965 hit Five O’Clock World. 


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His follow-up album in 1992, Sure Love, scored three Top Tens. This was followed two years later by Every Little Word, with the Top Ten ballad Stay Forever.

After the release of his final album, Father Time, in 2008, Ketchum relocated to Texas. In October 2018, Ketchum made his final live concert appearance in New Braunfels, Texas.


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Ketchum's diagnosis

Information obtained from Page Six said, the musician’s wife Andrea noted in a Facebook post that he had been battling with the condition for some time now. She said:

But because of his love for his fans, he continued performing as long as it was possible. Dementia is an exhausting and confusing illness and now it’s time for Hal to stay home with loved ones.


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On his 45th birthday, Ketchum was diagnosed with acute transverse myelitis, a neurological disorder related to multiple sclerosis, which causes an enlargement of the base of the spinal cord.

The 66-year-old was once again able to walk, play guitar and perform live after months of physical therapy. 
I’m the Troubadour, his most recent album was released in 2014.


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Fans react


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Wow, he is young for this


🙏🤞😭♥️💋. Amen


This is such sad news. My heart hurts for him and his family. 🙏🏻🙏🏻💙


This is so sad. Prayers to his family🙏🙏

We are sending love and praying for the country singer. Please, pray for the musician, too.