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Hal Ketchum

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Subject: Past the Point of Rescue (song), Jim Rooney (music), Hal Ketchum, Midsouth Emmy Awards, LeAnn Rimes singles
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Hal Ketchum

Hal Ketchum
Hal Ketchum in 2014
Background information
Birth name Hal Michael Ketchum
Born (1953-04-09) April 9, 1953
Origin Greenwich, New York, USA
Genres Country
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Rhythm guitar
Years active 1986, 1991–present
Labels Watermelon
Associated acts Lisa Brokop
Gary Burr
The Vogues

Hal Michael Ketchum (born April 9, 1953) is an American country music artist. He has released 10 studio albums since 1986, including nine for the Curb and Asylum-Curb labels. Ketchum's 1991 album Past the Point of Rescue is his most commercially successful, having been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. Between 1991 and 2006 Ketchum had 17 entries on the Hot Country Songs charts. Three of his singles — "Small Town Saturday Night," "Past the Point of Rescue" and "Hearts Are Gonna Roll" — all reached number 2 on this chart, and three more charted within the Top Ten: "Sure Love" at number 3, and "Mama Knows the Highway" and "Stay Forever," both at number 8.


Ketchum was born in Greenwich, New York.[1] At the age of 15, he began performing in clubs as a drummer with a rhythm and blues trio. In 1981, Ketchum moved to Austin, Texas where he began to visit Gruene Hall, a small dance hall near his home. This influenced him to try his hand at singing and songwriting, and by 1985 he was playing at small Texas clubs. In 1986, Ketchum recorded 11 of his self-penned songs under his full name Hal Michael Ketchum. This album, Threadbare Alibis, was released in 1988 under the small Texas label Watermelon Records.

Ketchum then moved to Nashville, Tennessee and signed a record deal with Curb Records. In 1991, Ketchum released his Curb debut album Past the Point of Rescue, with both his debut single "Small Town Saturday Night" and the title track "Past the Point of Rescue" reaching number 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts, launching him to stardom.[2] This album was later certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.[3]

He released the album Sure Love the following year, with the title track reaching number 3 on the country charts, scoring another number 2 with "Hearts Are Gonna Roll", and "Mama Knows the Highway" charting at number 8.[4]

In 1994, Ketchum released the album Every Little Word, generating several more hits, including the Benmont Tench-penned "Stay Forever" which reached number 8. Hal was also inducted as the 71st Member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1994.[4][5][6]

Two years later came a greatest-hits package entitled The Hits. This album included the non-charting single "Hang In There Superman." Ketchum did not appear on the charts again until 1998, when he reached number 36 with a cover of Todd Rundgren's "I Saw the Light", from his next album, also entitled I Saw the Light.[4]

He covered "If I Never Knew You" with Shelby Lynne for The Best of Country Sing the Best of Disney. In 2001, Ketchum released Lucky Man. This album included only one charting single in the number 40 "She Is".[4] Awaiting Redemption followed in 2002 without a charting single, and King of Love in 2004 with only the number 60 "My Love Will Not Change" to its credit. One More Midnight, released only in the United Kingdom, produced a number 47 country hit in the United States with "Just This Side of Heaven (Hal-Lelujah)", although the album itself never was released in the U.S.[4] His most recent US release is Father Time in 2008.

Acting career

Ketchum appeared in the 1988 film Heartbreak Hotel. Ketchum also made a cameo appearance as a bank robber in the 1994 film Maverick.

Personal life

In June 1998, Ketchum was diagnosed with a neurological disorder called acute transverse myelitis, an ailment of the spinal column, which left Ketchum without the use of the left side of his body.[7] He had to relearn basic tasks, including how to walk and play the guitar. His mother died at an early age from multiple sclerosis, the sister disease to acute transverse myelitis.

Ketchum is also a painter and his work has been shown in Santa Fe, New Mexico’s Pena Gallery, where he had an art-show opening in 2002. He also is a master carpenter and enjoys making toys.[8]


Studio albums

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
US Country
US Heat
CAN Country
Threadbare Alibis
  • Release date: 1988
  • Label: Watermelon Records
Past the Point of Rescue 6 45 2
Sure Love
  • Release date: September 22, 1992
  • Label: Curb Records
36 151 21
Every Little Word
  • Release date: May 31, 1994
  • Label: MCG/Curb Records
31 146
I Saw the Light
  • Release date: May 19, 1998
  • Label: MCG/Curb Records
Awaiting Redemption
  • Release date: May 18, 1999
  • Label: Curb Records
Lucky Man
  • Release date: September 4, 2001
  • Label: Curb Records
King of Love
  • Released: January 20, 2003
  • Label: Curb Records
One More Midnight
Father Time
  • Release date: September 9, 2008
  • Label: Asylum-Curb Records
I'm the Troubadour[12]
  • Release date: October 7, 2014
  • Label: Music Road Records
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released

Compilation albums

Title Album details Peak positions
US Country
The Hits
  • Release date: May 7, 1996
  • Label: MCG/Curb Records
Greatest Hits
  • Release date: May 6, 2008
  • Label: Asylum-Curb Records
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released



Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US Country
US Bubbling
CAN Country
1991 "Small Town Saturday Night" 2 Past the Point of Rescue
"I Know Where Love Lives" 13 15
1992 "Past the Point of Rescue" 2 1
"Five O'Clock World" 16 21
"Sure Love" 3 6 Sure Love
1993 "Hearts Are Gonna Roll" 2 6
"Mama Knows the Highway" 8 14
"Someplace Far Away (Careful What You're Dreaming)" 24 6
1994 "(Tonight We Just Might) Fall in Love Again" 20 17 Every Little Word
"That's What I Get for Losin' You" 22 23
1995 "Stay Forever" 8 24 10
"Every Little Word" 49 55
"Veil of Tears" 56
1996 "Hang In There Superman" The Hits
1998 "I Saw the Light" 36 21 50 I Saw the Light
"When Love Looks Back at You"
1999 "Awaiting Redemption" Awaiting Redemption
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released


Year Single Peak positions Album
US Country
2001 "She Is" 40 Lucky Man
"Don't Let Go"
"Two of the Lucky Ones" (with Dolly Parton)
2002 "Richest Man in Texas"
"Every Time I Look in Your Eyes" The King of Love
2004 "My Love Will Not Change" 60 N/A
2006 "Just This Side of Heaven (Hal-lelujah)" 47 One More Midnight
2007 "In Front of the Alamo" (with LeAnn Rimes)
"One More Midnight"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released

Guest singles

Year Single Artist Album
1994 "For Today" Charley Pride My 6 Latest & 6 Greatest
2001 "Keep Mom and Dad in Love" Lisa Brokop Undeniable

Music videos

Year Video Director
1991 "Small Town Saturday Night" Senor McGuire
1992 "I Know Where Love Lives" Richard Kooris
"Past the Point of Rescue" Steve Boyle
"Sure Love" Senor McGuire
1993 "Mama Knows the Highway" Dick Buckley
1994 "For Today" (with Charley Pride) Tom Denolf
"(Tonight We Just Might) Fall in Love Again"[15] Sherman Halsey
1995 "Stay Forever" Jim Shea
1996 "Hang in There Superman" Jim McGuire
1998 "I Saw the Light" Jim Shea
2001 "Keep Mom and Dad in Love" (with Lisa Brokop)
"She Is"
2007 "In Front of the Alamo" Glenn Sweitzer


  1. ^ Brennan, Sandra. "Hal Ketchum Biography".  
  2. ^ McCall, Michael. "Every Little Word"Hal Ketchum — . Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-08-26. 
  3. ^ "RIAA - Gold & Platinum - August 23, 2010: Hal Ketchum certified albums".  
  4. ^ a b c d e f Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 224.  
  5. ^ "Hal Ketchum". Grand Ole Opry. Retrieved July 2, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Opry Member List PDF". April 23, 2012. Retrieved July 2, 2012. 
  7. ^ Billboard, July 4, 1998
  8. ^ GAC: Hal Ketchum Biography
  9. ^ a b c d "allmusic ((( Hal Ketchum > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))".  
  10. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada: Country Albums/CDs".  
  11. ^ "American albums certifications – Hal Ketchum – Past the Point of Rescue".   If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select ', then click SEARCH
  12. ^ "Hiatus ends for Ketchum".  
  13. ^ a b "allmusic ((( Hal Ketchum > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles )))".  
  14. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada: Country Singles".  
  15. ^ "CMT : Videos : Hal Ketchum : Tonight We Just Might Fall In Love Again".  
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