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 Keith Palmer

Keith Palmer

June 23, 1957 -  June 13, 1996

I've searched for more than a few years now to find anything I could about Keith Palmer. I had finally given up the search after receiving word from a record store in Nashville that Keith seemed to have "vanished". There were no more recordings done by him than his first album, "Keith Palmer" (1991). I guess I should have written to Sony Records since they produced his album but I didn't think they'd have the time to bother with me so I didn't try. Instead, I played this same CD over and over, never tiring of it and always wishing there were more and wondering where Keith was and what he was doing with his life.

I had a posting of Keith in the Hidden Talent section of MKOC with one of his RA files. I wrote a brief synopsis of how I had searched for Keith and his music and ended it with, "Keith! WHERE ARE YOU?????"

I was so excited when I received and E-Mail titled "Keith Palmer" until I read the letter. It was from Sharon Palmer, Keith's ex-wife, who wrote to thank me for showcasing Keith and to give me the sad news that Keith passed away in 1996.

I was heartbroken with this revelation but so grateful to Sharon for taking the time to let me know. I wrote her back immediately and we've maintained a regular correspondence. It is thanks to Sharon that I was able to compile a brief bio of Keith. Most of all, we share the desire to let the world know what they were deprived of hearing while Keith was alive...and that Keith was deprived of the recognition he deserved.

About Keith Palmer

Keith was born Bryon Keith Palmer on June 23, 1957 in Hayti, Missouri and was raised in Corning, Arkansas. His name was actually supposed to be "Byron" but there was a mistake on the birth certificate.

One of Keith's first professional jobs was touring with the Dixie Echoes, a gospel group. Keith moved to Nashville in the early 80s, signed as a writer with Merit Music, and established a working relationship with producer Norro Wilson. Keith also worked for Welk Music Group, and learned the skills of writing from veteran A. L. "Doodle" Owens, who wrote a great many of George Jone's hits, along with Keith's friend, Dennis Knutson.

Keith also had great success as a songwriter. The list of songs and artists who recorded them is quite extensive, but his most successful was "For My Broken Heart" by Reba McEntire. Keith wrote "One Hell of a Heartache" which was recorded by another of my favorite artists, Gene Watson. Keith was featured in the "Showcase" for the song "I Didn't (Every Chance I Had)" by Keith and Bobby P. Barker, which was recorded by Johnny Rodriguez. He also wrote for Tom Collins Music.

At one point, around 1987 or 1988, Norro was working with him to get him a recording contract. It failed, for unknown reasons. Keith did, however, sing backup for many artists and was highly in demand as a demo singer for songwriters. He appeared vocally on Bobby Vinton's album, "Timeless" (1989).

Keith's first and only album, self titled, "Keith Palmer was released on Nov. 5, 1991. Keith had always said that if he ever got a recording deal, he would record songs by his friends. He was true to his word. "San Antonio Rose" was one of the many written by friends of his, Bobby P. Barker and James Dean Hicks.

*Billboard* charts show that "Don't Throw Me in the Briar Patch" was released 9/28/91 as a single and reached #17 and was played for 54 weeks. "Forgotten But Not Gone" was released 1/25/92, reached #8 and remained on the charts for 60 weeks. One of Nashville's most famous (and brutally honest) music critics, Robert Oerrmann, wrote and raved about Keith's CD.

Sadly, Keith didn't live long enough to gain the acclaim he so richly deserved. He died from cancer on June 13, 1996 ten days before his birthday, at his home in White House, Tennessee which is just outside of Nashville. Keith is survived by his wife, Carol Lee, and their son.  Keith's version of "When I Close My Eyes" was played at his memorial service. A lot of you will recognize this song which was a hit for Kenny Chesney. It was written by a good friend of Keith's, Nettie Musick with Mark Allan Springer. It's great that the song finally gained fame and I'm sure Keith is happy for his friend's good fortune. On a personal note, I respect Kenny Chesney's talent greatly, but no one will ever sing that song as well as Keith Palmer did.

This page will be added to as I get the facts in order. Hopefully I will soon have more input on his bio and career. In the meantime, I wanted to get his music out there for y'all.

Keith, if you're watching, this is my tribute to you.


Keith Palmer CD

Memory Lane

Forgotten But Not Gone

If You Want To Find Love  

That's Enough To Keep Me Hangin' On

My Arms Tonight

Don't Throw Me In The Briar Patch

She Left Me Yesterday

Livin' On What's Left Of Your Love

When I Close My Eyes

I Picked A San Antonio Rose  

1991 Sony Music Entertainment Inc./ Manufactured by Epic, a division of Sony. All rights reserved.

CD Available at Amazon

More On Keith Palmer
Updated 6-22-08

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