Country Music Memories: ‘It Ain’t Nothin” Goes to No. 1

Thirty-two years ago today (Jan. 13, 1990) was a bittersweet day for friends, family and fans of Keith Whitley: It was on that date that Whitley’s song “It Ain’t Nothin'” landed at the top of the charts, more than eight months after his death.

“It Ain’t Nothin'” was the second single and second No. 1 hit from Whitley’s I Wonder Do You Think of Me record, which was the first album released after his death. Written by Tony Haselden and featuring lines such as, “It ain’t nothin’ a little bit of love won’t fix / It ain’t nothin’ but a scratch a little bit of love can stitch / It ain’t nothin’ a little bit of love can’t heal,” the song showed an optimism that hid Whitley’s private battle with alcohol and depression.

Whitley died on May 9, 1989, at the age of 33, from alcohol poisoning. ”It Ain’t Nothin'” was Whitley’s last song to hit the top of the charts. The tune was included on several of Whitley’s compilation albums, including Greatest Hits in 1990, The Essential Keith Whitley in 1996 and 2006’s 16 Biggest Hits.

This story was originally written by Gayle Thompson, and revised by Annie Zaleski. 

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