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Eddie Rabbitt

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Eddie Rabbitt
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In addition to its successful rock/pop roster, Elektra was also home to a vital line-up of country music stars, thanks to a Nashville office headed up by veteran producer Jimmy Bowen. Among Elektra’s biggest country successes was an unlikely superstar by the name of Eddie Rabbitt. Born in Brooklyn and raised in New Jersey, Rabbitt had moved to Nashville in 1968. He quickly became one of Music City’s most in-demand songwriters, penning tracks for stars like Elvis Presley and Ronnie Milsap. Upon signing with Elektra in 1975, Rabbitt soon became a top artist in his own right, scoring his first of 17 #1 country hits with 1976’s “Drinkin’ My Baby (Off My Mind).” In 1977, Eddie was named “Top New Male Vocalist of the Year” by the Academy of Country Music.
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Rabbitt’s first big crossover hit came with 1978’s #1 country smash, “Every Which Way But Loose,” featured as the theme to Clint Eastwood’s enormously successful film of the same name. The song initially entered Billboard’s “Hot Country Singles” chart at #18, breaking the record for highest-ever chart debut – a standard it held for more than 25 years. In 1980, Horizon, Eddie’s sixth Elektra album, officially propelled him into the mainstream, fueled by two indelible pop classics in “Drivin’ My Life Away” and “I Love A Rainy Night.” Though it came to define 1981, “I Love A Rainy Night” was in fact originally written in the late ‘60s and rediscovered by Rabbitt while rummaging through a collection of old recordings. The song wound up an unqualified blockbuster, reaching the top spot on three Billboard charts – including the all-important “Hot 100” – on its way to RIAA gold certification. Further chart success followed, including duets with fellow crossover stars Crystal Gayle and Juice Newton. Sadly, Rabbitt was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1997 and passed away the following year, leaving behind an innovative legacy that helped define modern country music.
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