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Hal Ketchum Dead: Country Singing Icon Dies at 67 After Battle With Dementia

Hal Ketchum is the country music singer-songwriter who died on November 24 at the age of 67. Ketchum’s cause of death was dementia. Ketchum was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2019. Ketchum’s death was announced in a statement from his wife, Andrea.

A short statement on Ketchum’s Facebook page on November 24 read: “It is with great sadness and pain that we announce that Hal passed away peacefully last night at his home due to complications from dementia. May his music live forever in your hearts and bring you peace ”.

1. Ketchum’s Wife Andrea Said in 2019 that the Singer Continued to Perform Live Following His Initial Diagnosis of Dementia

In an April 2019 Facebook post, Ketchum’s wife Andrea said that the country’s legend had been battling dementia for some time, but had continued to act. Andrea Ketchum wrote: “Dementia is an exhausting and confusing illness and now is the time for Hal to stay home with his loved ones.” That statement said that Ketchum was happy to be home with friends and family.

Ketchum told People magazine in 1998 that he was diagnosed with myelitis, a condition that affects the spinal cord. It can cause temporary paralysis and permanent weakness. Ketchum said that thanks to an aggressive course of physical therapy, he was able to regain the necessary dexterity to play music. At the time of the interview, Ketchum recently married his third wife, Gina Pacconi, who was 14 years his junior. Pacconi is quoted in the story as saying that if Ketchum hadn’t stopped his drug and alcohol habits, he wouldn’t have made a full recovery.

2. A Benefit Concert to Help to Pay for Ketchum’s Medical Bills Was Held in January 2020

In January 2020, a benefit concert was held to help Ketchum’s family pay their medical bills in Austin, Texas in January 2020. Ketchum’s family also created a GoFundMe page. The fundraising page was closed after raising more than $ 22,000.

One of the fundraiser’s organizers was quoted as saying that Ketchum was known to be extremely generous to other causes that inspired others to return the favor. The blurb on the GoFundMe page, via KOKEFM, read in part: “Hal has sung his latest tune for us on this earthly plane of existence. He can no longer tour or record albums to support his family. Now is the time for us to step up and help with the nearly insurmountable medical bills and living expenses that are piling up. ”

3. Ketchum Sold More Than 5 Million Albums During His Career

According to Ketchum’s official biography on his website, he has sold more than five million albums worldwide. Among his most famous songs are “Small Town Saturday Night” and “Hearts Are Gonna Roll”.

Ketchum said in her People magazine interview that she was born in Greenwich, New York, and lost her mother at a young age to MS. Ketchum said he first drank alcohol at 15 and gradually switched to drugs. After a time working as a carpenter, Ketchum was inspired to pursue songwriting and moved to San Antonio, Texas, in 1979. Ketchum released his first album, Past the Point of Rescue, in 1991. During that time, Ketchum continued to use drugs saying, “I was proud to have the build of a lumberjack. My drug of choice became anything. “Ketchum said he became sober in December 1997 after waking up one morning with a gram of cocaine in each of his pockets. From there, Ketchum spent 30 days at the Betty clinic. Ford as he sobered up.

4. Ketchum Applied His Carpentry Skills to Songwriting Because the Pair are Both ‘Primal Forms of Creativity’

Ketchum said in a 2007 interview with Blog Critics that he was able to apply his carpentry skills to songwriting. Ketchum said, “That’s all the right brain stuff. They’re all primordial forms of creativity and, to me, they come from exactly the same place. There is no difference and there is no way to differentiate those things. They all come from the same place.”

In a 2009 interview with SongFacts, Ketchum discussed writing his song “I Miss My Mary,” which was written after an encounter Ketchum had with a man at a bar in California. Ketchum said the man talks about the 40th anniversary of when he abandoned his wife and son. Ketchum said that situations like that often inspire songs:

People are full of stories. We all have stories, we all have heartbreak and we all have sadness and we all have joy. Golden moments. You never know. I stay open to that.

Have a lot of good dialogues with people. It just happens. It could be on a plane, it could be anywhere. Behind the scenes somewhere. You realize that everyone has a story, a child with cerebral palsy, a great loss in life, or a great gain. You never know.

5. Neil Diamond ‘Enjoyed the Heck’ Out of Ketchum’s Album ‘Father Time’

Neil Diamond was a fan of Ketchum’s work and told the singer through The Boot about the album “Father Time” in 2008: “I listened very well and, you know what, I really enjoyed it.” Ketchum said in the same piece that he wrote and recorded “Father Time” over a two-day period with live musicians on each track rather than over dubs or pre-recordings.

Ketchum told The Boot that he met Neil Diamond in Nashville in 1993 and that the couple wrote songs together.

Ketchum said he ended up playing rhythm guitar on one of Diamond’s albums. Ketchum added: “I went to his house and we wrote a couple of songs. I got to play rhythm guitar on a Neil Diamond record, which was huge for me. Having Neil Diamond writing something about me is like painting Picasso’s house. ”




Ibrar Hussain is the USA Today Bestselling author of 6 novels, including The Dig, A Warm Place to Call Home (a demon’s story), and Exigency. He lives in Northern California with “the wife,” “the kids,” “the dog,” “that cat,” and he occasionally wears pants. His latest release, RETURN, is the third book in his #1 bestselling Matt Turner series.

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