Country singer and songwriter Keith Whitley poses for and RCA Records publicity still in 1984.
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'Miami, My Amy': Behind the Keith Whitley Hit That's Going Viral on TikTok

Keith Whitley's song "Miami, My Amy" made a mark when it was released in 1985 off his album, L.A. to Miami, and now, nearly 40 years later, it's finding new life on TikTok. Here's a look back at the history of the song that has had a modern impact on an entire generation of content creators.

"Miami, My Amy" tells the story of a man who meets a woman named Amy while vacationing in Miami. They fall in love immediately, and when it's time for the man to go back home to LA, he wonders if he should stay in Miami with Amy. When he asks if he should stay with her, she encourages him to go home, which leaves him feeling rejected. However, once he touches down in LA, he receives a telephone call that changes everything.

"Even in the taxi I could hear my telephone ring / Calling me from Miami / My Amy / What took you so long I thought you'd never call / Miami, my Amy / Miami, my Amy loved me after all," he sings in the famous chorus.

"Miami, My Amy" was written by legendary Nashville songwriters Dean Dillon, Hank Cochran and Royce Porter, and according to Cochran, the song was inspired by a real-life romance. He told American Songwriter that he and Dillon watched a similar love story unfold while they were on his boat in Palm Beach, Florida. That real-life love story happened between Cochran's son and a woman named Amy.

"My son came to see us," Cochran shared. "My wife introduced my son, Donny, to a good-looking young woman. Donny had to go back to California. He asked if he should stay with that girl. I told him I didn't know. I could look at him and see myself at that young age. Her name was Amy."

After seeing the way his son fell for Amy, the title, "Miami, My Amy," simply popped in his mind. He mentioned the song to Dillon and they wrote it right away.

"I told Dean, 'Did you see the way Donny feels about that girl? What do you think about putting it together in a song? A 'Miami, My Amy' loves me after all kind of song,'" he said.

Once the song was written, they had to get an artist to cut it, and the way Cochran convinced Whitley to record the tune is a story all its own. Cochran reportedly had a pair of boots that Whitley was coveting, so Cochran cut him a deal: make one of his songs a No. 1 and he'd give him the boots. Whitley walked away with a hit song and a new pair of boots.

Although "Miami, My Amy" was released so long ago, the song has found a place on the popular social media app, TikTok. Creators are using a clip of the song to make humorous videos that feature well-meaning elderly strangers giving them unsolicited advice. See a few of the most popular TikTok videos featuring the song here. 

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