Pictured are (l-r): John Deans, Johnny Deans, Flo Whitley, Michael Keith Whitley and Dwight Whitley. (Submitted by Johnny Deans.)
Pictured are (l-r): John Deans, Johnny Deans, Flo Whitley, Michael Keith Whitley and Dwight Whitley. (Submitted by Johnny Deans.)

The Deans family of Highland County would like to thank everyone for showing up at a recent reception on behalf of the late country music artist Keith Whitley and his family.

Guests were encouraged to go online and vote for Whitley’s induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Deans said.

"We had a real nice crowd, including Highland County Commissioner Tom Horst," Deans said.

Whitley was born July 1, 1955 and died May 9, 1989 at the age of 33. During his brief country music career, Whitley had 19 singles on the Billboard country music charts.

He was born in Ashland, Ky., and grew up in nearby Sandy Hook. Whitley began his career there in 1970, performing in Ralph Stanley's band.

In 1986, his first Top 20 single, "Miami, My Amy,” was released. He later married country singer Lorrie Morgan. In 1988, his first three singles from his studio album “Don't Close Your Eyes,” the title song, "When You Say Nothing at All" and "I'm No Stranger to the Rain" were No. 1 hits.

The Whitley family was honored by the state of Ohio for their contribution to the music industry.

Dwight and Flo Whitley were presented a certificate of appreciation and documentation stating the U.S. flag presented to them flew over the state Capitol of Ohio on Nov. 25, 2014.

The presentation was in honor of all the contributions made to the music industry by the entire Whitley family, including Dwight, Keith, John, Micheal Keith and Jessie Keith.

The presentation was held at the home of Johnny Deans with Paula Farrell from the state of Ohio doing the presentation.

“If you haven't signed the petition to help get Keith Whitley into the Country Music Hall of Fame, please do so,” Johnny Deans said. “If you have, please share it so others can as well.”

A Facebook page has been set up at: https://www.facebook.com/KWHoF or go to http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/induct-keith-whitley-into-the-country-music-hall-of-fame.html.

“We really appreciate everyone who attended the reception for the Whitley family,” Deans said.