Eddie Rabbitt was an American country music singer and songwriter. His career began as a songwriter in the late 1960s, springboarding to a recording career after composing hits such as "Kentucky Rain" for Elvis Presley in 1970 and "Pure Love" for Ronnie Milsap in 1974. Later in the 1970s, Rabbitt helped to develop the crossover-influenced sound of country music prevalent in the 1980s with such hits as "Suspicions," "I Love a Rainy Night" (a number-one hit single on the Billboard Hot 100), and "Every Which Way but Loose" (the theme from the film of the same title). His duets "Both to Each Other (Friends and Lovers)" with Juice Newton and "You and I" with Crystal Gayle later appeared on the soap operas Days of Our Lives and All My Children.
Rabbitt was the son of Thomas Michael and Mae Rabbitt in Brooklyn, New York, in 1941 and was raised in the nearby community of East Orange, New Jersey. His father was a skilled fiddle and accordion player who often entertained in local New York City dance halls. By age 12, Rabbitt was a proficient guitar player, having been taught by his scoutmaster. During his childhood, Rabbitt became a self-proclaimed "walking encyclopedia of country music."
Like his father, he fulfilled his love of music by performing at the Six Steps Down club in his hometown. He later won a talent contest and was given an hour of Saturday night radio show time to broadcast a live performance from a bar in Paterson, New Jersey. In 1964, he signed his first record deal with 20th Century Records and released the singles "Next to the Note" and "Six Nights and Seven Days." Four years later, with $1,000 to his name, Rabbitt moved to Nashville, where he began his songwriting career.