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     Rabbitt, Eddie (27th November 1941-7th May 1998)

    He was a singer-songwriter born Edward Thomas Rabbitt in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in East Orange, New Jersey.  His father, who was an adept accordionist and fiddler, worked at a local oil refinery and performed at some of New York City’s dance halls.


    Obviously growing up with a musical parent rubbed off on Eddie and he began learning the guitar with the aid of lessons from his scoutmaster.  By the time he was twelve he was skilled in the instrument and by the time he as a teenager he was what he described as “a walking encyclopaedia of country music”.  He left school when he was sixteen after his parents had gone their own separate ways but when he was older he enrolled in night classes to gain his high school diploma. 


    During the 1950s he continued with his love of music and while he was working a day-job as an attendant in a psychiatric hospital, he spent his evenings playing at a local club.  He managed to get himself an hour’s air time on a Saturday live broadcast after he’d won a talent contest and later in 1964 he landed his first recording contract with 20th Century.  With them he issued the singles “Six Days and Seven Nights” and “Next to Note”.


    In 1968 he relocated to Nashville to work as a songwriter and within a very short time Roy Drosky recorded his “Working My Way From the Bottom Up” which had been written the first day he arrived in the city.  He worked in several temporary jobs to help him eke out his finances, but a music publishing company snapped.him up and put him on a salary.


    By 1969 he was seeing success as the writer of “Kentucky Rain” which became a gold record for Elvis Presley.  That set him on his way and five years later Ronnie Milsap recorded “Pure Love” which would be Eddie’s first #1.


    In 1974 he was offered a deal by Elektra and in 1975 he signed and released “You Get To Me” which was his first single and also made the Top 40 chart.  A further two releases, “I Should Have Married You” and “Forgive and Forget” saw him reaching the Top 20. He also released his eponymous debut in 1975.


    In 1976 he achieved his first #1 on the Country charts with “Drinkin’ My Baby (Of My Mind)” which came from the album Rocky Mountain Music.  In 1977 he reached the Top 5 of the Country album chart with his Rabbitt and was also given the honour of the Academy of Country Music naming him “Top New Male Vocalist of the Year”.


    He went on the road as Kenny Roger’s opener and in 1978 saw two more released reaching the #1 spot.  He released further albums and then he managed to achieve crossover status when he topped the Billboard 100, the Country and the Adult Contemporary charts with his theme for the Clint Eastwood Movie “Every Which Way But Loose”.  At that time it held the record for the highest chart debut when it entered at #18.


    The following year he had a further crossover hit with his “Suspicions” and in 1980 he had his own TV special with guest performers.  Further crossover hits and successful albums ensued but he declined having his own television shows.  His hit “You and I” which was a duet with Crystal Gayle was so popular that it became the theme for TV’s All My Children.


    He continued with chart success during the first half of the 1980s with hit songs such as “I Love a Rainy Night” and “Both to Each Other (Friends and Lovers)”, which was duet with Juice Newton, topped the charts and was used for the theme for Days Of Our Lives.


    Then tragedy struck when his son battled illness and sadly passed away and from 1985 until 1988 he bowed out of the music industry.  He returned with a new album and two further #1 hit songs and in 1990 he released the album Jersey Boy, which produced his final No. 1, “On Second Thought”.   His final chart song was his 1991 “Hang Up The Phone” and after that success he oured the country with his backing band, Hare Trigger.  Bob Dole chose a later song entitled “American Boy” in 1996 for his presidential campaign.


    He changed his label to Intersound Records in 1997 but it was shortly after that he received the nrews that he as suffering from lung cancer.  He received treatment and released Beatin’ the Odds and a final album in 1997, Songs From Rabbittland.   He passed away in May 1998 when he was 56 years old, but his death wasn’t announced until after his burial.  The album From the Heart was posthumously released.



    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Rabbitt
    2. http://www.answers.com/topic/eddie-rabbitt
    3. http://www.myspace.com/eddierabbittrox
    4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/486d04cf-355f-4afb-a694-a895918c45ac
    5. http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:jifuxql5ldde
    6. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0704781/
    7. http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:jifuxql5ldde~T4














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