Music Legend Eddy Arnold

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on September 14, 2003
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I'd like to know about country music's first superstar—living legend Eddy Arnold.
—Jill B., Alabama

"I don't do much these days," says Eddy Arnold, 85, who retired from performing in 1999. "I come to the office every day and I answer mail every day and obviously I have some investments that I take care of. And that is about it for me." Arnold, as usual, is being modest. After all, this is the man who helped bring country music to the city during his seven-decade career as a songwriter and singer. Arnold's I'll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms) was the No. 1 single of the decade in the 1940s. He received the Country Music Association's first Entertainer of the Year award in 1967. President Clinton awarded the National Media of Arts to Arnold in 2000 for his contributions to American culture. He made another great contribution to American culture in 2003 when he donated a collection of memorabilia related to his life and career to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tenn. "I had so much stuff and I wanted my memorabilia to be in a good place. You know, you can do so much more with it while you're alive. That made me want to make the move. I just thought the Hall of Fame should have it." Arnold, who grew up in Henderson, Tenn., recently had a very low-key 60th anniversary celebration with his wife, Sally. "We are very quiet people," he says. "We just do simple things, like everybody else." The couple, who has two children, two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren, live in Brentwood, Tenn., and enjoy boating in their spare time. Does he miss singing? "I guess a little," he says. "I've gotten older and I just stay home. I'm living a very quiet life."