Keith Whitley’s Son Honors Him at Opry Memorial With “Don’t Close Your Eyes”

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Jesse Keith Whitley Performs “Don’t Close Your Eyes” In Honor of His Late Father    

Jesse Keith Whitley has country music in his DNA, being the son of Lorrie Morgan and the late Keith Whitley, and the grandson of Grand Ole Opry legend George Morgan. Jesse was not quite 2 years old when his father tragically passed at the age of 33. 

Even though his career was cut short, Keith Whitley left his mark on country music and his songs are still often played today. During a special tribute show at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN this past weekend, Jesse performed a moving cover of his father’s ballad “Don’t Close Your Eyes.” 

The Opry Remembers Keith Whitley   

Music City gathered Saturday night, October 14, to remember the late, great Keith Whitley at the famous Grand Ole Opry. The event, I Wonder Do You Think of Me: The Opry Remembers Keith Whitley, was a “one-of-a-kind show” including “special guests singing some of our favorite Keith Whitley songs, touching tributes, and star-studded surprises all night long” (via  

The lineup of country music favorites and Opry members included Garth Brooks, Terri Clark, Ashley McBryde, Lorrie Morgan, Jesse Keith Whitley, Mark Wills, and the Grascals.  

Grand Ole Opry

The Opry Presented Commemorative Plaques to The Whitley Family 

The Whitley family – Lorrie Morgan, Jesse Keith Whitley, and Morgan – were presented with a special plaque to commemorate Keith Whitley’s impact on the Opry. This moving gesture is particularly significant as Keith died just three weeks before he was to become an official member of the Grand Ole Opry.

The Opry shared

“This plaque, a replica of those which recognize official Opry members in the Opry House Member Gallery, is presented in recognition that while Keith Whitley’s life may have ended before his dream of Opry membership was realized, his incredible influence endures on the Opry and country music worldwide.” 

Jesse Keith Whitley shared an image with the plaque along with a heartfelt message to his father, saying: 

“Dad, if you’re listening… yes, we DO THINK OF YOU. Every day. In just a few short years you changed the game of country music forever. And the whole world loves you for it!”

Rest in peace Keith Whitley. You may be gone, but you are not forgotten. 

Watch Jesse Keith Whitley cover another of his father’s hit songs “I’m Over You” below!