Hal Michael Ketchum (born April 9, 1953) is an American country music artist. Signed to various divisions of Curb Records since the 1991 release of his gold-certified Past the Point of Rescue, he has released nine studio albums and two compilations. Ketchum has also charted six top ten hits on the Hot Country Songs charts, with his highest-peaking singles, "Small Town Saturday Night", "Past the Point of Rescue" and "Hearts Are Gonna Roll", all reaching #2.
Ketchum was born in Greenwich, New York. At the age of 15, he began performing in clubs as a drummer with a rhythm and blues trio. In 1981, Ketchum moved to Austin, Texas where he began to visit Gruene Hall, a small dance hall near his home. This influenced him to try his hand at singing and songwriting, and by 1985 he was playing at small Texas clubs. In 1986, Ketchum recorded 11 of his self-penned songs under his full name Hal Michael Ketchum. This album, Threadbare Alibis, was released in 1988 under the small Texas label Watermelon Records.
Ketchum then moved to Nashville, Tennessee and signed a record deal with Curb Records. In 1991, Ketchum released his Curb debut album Past the Point of Rescue, with both his debut single "Small Town Saturday Night" and the title track "Past the Point of Rescue" reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts, launching him to stardom. This album was later certified Gold by the RIAA.
He released the album Sure Love the following year, with the title track reaching #3 on the country charts, scoring another #2 with "Hearts Are Gonna Roll", and "Mama Knows the Highway" charting at #8.
In 1994, Ketchum released the album Every Little Word, generating several more hits, including the Benmont Tench-penned "Stay Forever" which reached #8. Hal was also inducted as the 71st Member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1994, after his first three Curb records sold over one million copies collectively.
While Ketchum's subsequent albums have not achieved the same commercial success of his first three, they have been well received among critics and fans alike. In 2007, One More Midnight was released only in the UK. In 2008, it was announced through Ketchum's MySpace, that a new album, Father Time, would be released September 9, 2008.
Ketchum appeared in the 1988 film Heartbreak Hotel. Ketchum also made a cameo appearance as a bank robber in the 1994 film Maverick.
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