05/16/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Eddy Arnold, Country Music Star, Dies Aged 89

Famed country music singer Eddy Arnold has died at the age of 89:

Eddy Arnold, whose mellow baritone on songs like "Make the World Go Away" made him one of the most successful country singers in history, died Thursday morning, days short of his 90th birthday.

Arnold died at a care facility near Nashville, said Don Cusic, a professor at Belmont University and author of the biography "Eddy Arnold: I'll Hold You in My Heart." His wife of 66 years, Sally, had died in March, and in the same month, Arnold fell outside his home, injuring his hip.

Eddy Arnold had a long and storied career in country music. Here are a few highlights (from Wikipedia):

Arnold's formative musical years included early struggles to gain recognition until he landed a job as the lead male vocalist for the Pee Wee King band.

In December of 1944, he cut his first record. Although all of his early records sold well, his initial big hit did not come until 1946 with "That's How Much I Love You." In common with many other country and western singers of the time, he had a folksy nickname: "The Tennessee Plowboy."

Managed by Col. Tom Parker (who later went on to control the career of Elvis Presley), Arnold began to dominate country music.

In 1947-48 he had 13 of the top 20 songs. He successfully made the transition from radio to television, appearing frequently in the new medium.

USA Today has a nice article detailing 'what Eddy Arnold has done in our world':

He was one of country's first crossover stars, but it's likely that none who follow Eddy Arnold will match his longevity.

Arnold brought an urbane approach to country music during an era dominated by folksy sounds. In the '40s, he adapted the pop crooning of Bing Crosby and Perry Como for country audiences. In the '60s, he helped usher in "countrypolitan." He reached unprecedented career heights for a country act of his day, appearing in films, hosting TV shows and headlining Vegas.

In 1948, six Arnold singles spent 49 of the year's 52 weeks atop at least one of Billboard's country charts. "For a few weeks, I also had the top five (singles)," he told USA TODAY

n 2002. "I can't tell you why. I guess I just came along at the right time."

See the discography, and more of the biography, of Eddy Arnold.