Music legend Eddy Arnold died Thursday, one week before his 90th birthday. He was married and influenced by the same lady (Miss Sally) since 1942 (nearly 66 years) who died only 2 months earlier after hip replacement surgery at age 87. Not many people in this day and time will even know who he is (part of that’s surely due to him having outlived his commercial peak by so many decades — refusing to die young does diminish one’s legend, right?) but in my opinion he should be considered the most successful country singer of all time, if you combine record sales (85 million sold) with radio successes (145 chart hits, including 28 No. 1s) spanning 7 decades. Starting off and often being considered a country singer he went on to cross over into the pop world and he was the first country singer to become renowned as a Vegas headliner. Wearing a tuxedo and singing from the diaphragm and not through his nose he was Influenced by crooners like Bing Crosby and Gene Autry, he favored romantic ballads and novelties over songs about drinking and cheating. Intimacy was his calling card. Some may remember not too long ago when LeAnn Rimes did a duet with him doing the famous ‘Cattle Call’ song although I remember him in his first band ‘The Tennessee Plowboys’ and such hits as “Make The World go Away” penned by Hank Cochran. Now them’s real lyrics right there ! Others include “I’ll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms)” and “I Wanna Play House With You,” were later recorded by Elvis Presley, who patterned his crooning style after Mr. Arnold’s. Born in Tennessee, inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1966, recorded his last album in 2005, he will be remembered as a one of a kind, unique, singer songwriter and just another one of those sounds I heard as a kid growing up that I learned to sing and play to. He is survived by his two children, son Richard and daughter Jo Ann. Another one my musical influences that I will surely miss.