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Sammy Kershaw

Sammy Kershaw is an American country music singer and songwriter who rose to fame in the 1990s with his chart-topping hits and album releases. Born in 1958 in Kaplan, Louisiana, Kershaw grew up in a musical family and began playing guitar at a young age. He honed his skills playing in local bands and eventually moved to Nashville to pursue a career in country music.

Kershaw’s unique blend of traditional country sound and rock influences earned him a loyal fan base and critical acclaim throughout his career. He has released over 15 studio albums, with several of his songs reaching number one on the country music charts.

In addition to his music career, Kershaw has also been involved in philanthropic efforts and community involvement, making him a respected figure in the country music industry.

This article will explore Kershaw’s early life and career beginnings, rise to fame in the 1990s, chart-topping hits and album releases, personal life and relationships, honoring country music’s roots, awards and recognitions, continuing success and touring, philanthropic efforts and community involvement, and legacy and impact on country music.

Key Takeaways

  • Sammy Kershaw is a successful country music artist known for his unique blend of traditional country sound and rock influences.
  • He has released over 15 studio albums with several hit singles reaching number one on the country music charts.
  • Kershaw is also involved in philanthropic efforts and community involvement, establishing the Sammy Kershaw Foundation in 2010 to help children and veterans in need.
  • He has been open about his struggles with addiction and grief after his son’s death in 2014 and is a vocal advocate for improving healthcare access for veterans.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Sammy Kershaw’s early life and career beginnings were shaped by his upbringing in rural Louisiana and his exposure to various musical genres through his family’s involvement in the local music scene. Born on February 24, 1958, in Kaplan, Louisiana, Kershaw grew up in a musical family.

His grandfather played the fiddle, his mother sang and played the piano, and his father played the guitar. Kershaw picked up the guitar at a young age and started performing with his family’s band, the Continental Playboys, when he was just a teenager.

Kershaw’s early musical influences ranged from Cajun and zydeco music to classic country and rock and roll. He was particularly drawn to the music of George Jones, Hank Williams, and Elvis Presley. At age 12, Kershaw made his first recording, a cover of Hank Williams’ ‘Cold, Cold Heart,’which he recorded with his brother and sister.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Kershaw played in various bands and worked as a carpenter before deciding to pursue a full-time career in music. He moved to Nashville in 1986 and signed his first record deal with Mercury Records in 1990.

Rise to Fame in the 1990s

During the 1990s, the country music industry experienced a shift towards a more traditional sound, which paved the way for rising stars like Sammy Kershaw to make their mark on the genre.

Kershaw’s rise to fame began with his debut album ‘Don’t Go Near the Water’ in 1991, which featured hit singles like ‘Cadillac Style’ and ‘Yard Sale’. The album peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales of over one million copies.

Kershaw’s success continued with the release of his second album ‘Haunted Heart’ in 1993, which included the hit singles ‘She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful’ and ‘Haunted Heart’. The album reached number 2 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and was certified gold by the RIAA.

Kershaw’s rise to fame was fueled by his traditional country sound, which resonated with audiences and earned him a loyal fanbase. He went on to release several more successful albums throughout the 1990s, cementing his place as one of the leading figures of the traditional country music movement.

Top singles from ‘Don’t Go Near the Water’:

  1. ‘Cadillac Style’
  2. ‘Yard Sale’
  3. ‘Anywhere but Here’
  4. ‘Don’t Go Near the Water’

Top singles from ‘Haunted Heart’:

  1. ‘She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful’
  2. ‘Haunted Heart’
  3. ‘Queen of My Double Wide Trailer’
  4. ‘I Can’t Reach Her Anymore’

Chart-Topping Hits and Album Releases

In the late 1990s, Kershaw established himself as a chart-topping country artist with the release of his album ‘Labor of Love’. The album peaked at number five on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and included hit singles like ‘Love of My Life’ and ‘Matches’.

‘Love of My Life’ reached number two on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, becoming Kershaw’s highest-charting single to date. The song’s success helped propel the album to platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Kershaw continued to release successful albums throughout the 2000s, including ‘Maybe Not Tonight’ and ‘I Want My Money Back’. These albums produced hit singles like ‘Meant to Be’, ‘She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful’, and ‘Third Rate Romance’.

Kershaw’s ability to consistently produce chart-topping hits solidified his place in the country music industry and earned him a dedicated fan base. His legacy as a respected country artist continues to this day, with Kershaw still actively touring and releasing new music.

Personal Life and Relationships

Exploring the personal life and relationships of the accomplished country artist sheds light on the factors that influenced his music and career.

Sammy Kershaw has been married four times and has six children. He married his high school sweetheart, Kim, in 1976, but they divorced in 1985.

He then married Lori Horne in 1987, and they had three children together before divorcing in 2001. In 2001, Kershaw married his third wife, Tasha, and they had two children before divorcing in 2007.

Kershaw married his fourth wife, Mendy Gregory, in 2010.

Kershaw has been open about his struggles with addiction and has been in and out of rehab since the 1990s. He has also been open about his struggles with grief after his son died in a car accident in 2014.

Kershaw has used his personal experiences as inspiration for his music, and his songs often touch on themes of love, loss, and addiction.

Exploring Kershaw’s personal life and relationships helps to contextualize his music and provides insight into the ways in which his personal experiences have influenced his artistic output.

Honoring Country Music’s Roots

Honoring country music’s roots is essential for understanding the evolution and development of this genre over time.

Sammy Kershaw is a country music artist who has demonstrated a deep appreciation and respect for the traditional sounds and themes of country music. In his music, Kershaw often incorporates elements of classic country, such as steel guitar and fiddle, and emphasizes storytelling and themes of heartbreak and resilience, which are common in the genre’s early days.

Kershaw’s dedication to honoring country music’s roots is also evident in his involvement with the Louisiana Hayride, a famous live radio show that helped launch the careers of many country music legends, including Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash. Kershaw has worked to preserve the legacy of the Louisiana Hayride by performing at tribute concerts and supporting efforts to establish a permanent museum dedicated to the show.

Through his music and advocacy, Kershaw has demonstrated a commitment to preserving the history and legacy of country music, while also contributing to its continued evolution and growth.

Collaborations and Musical Influences

Collaborations with other artists and exposure to diverse musical influences have contributed to the evolution and development of Sammy Kershaw’s sound over time. Kershaw has worked with notable country music artists such as Lorrie Morgan, George Jones, and Aaron Tippin, among others. These collaborations allowed him to explore different styles of country music while also showcasing his versatility as a musician.

In addition to collaborations, Kershaw’s musical influences can be traced back to his childhood in Louisiana. Growing up, he was exposed to various genres such as Cajun, zydeco, and blues, which have heavily influenced his music. This exposure can be heard in his songs, which often feature a mix of traditional country sounds with a touch of Louisiana flavor.

Ultimately, Kershaw’s collaborations and diverse musical influences have played a significant role in shaping his unique sound and contributing to his success in the country music industry.

Awards and Recognitions

One notable aspect of Sammy Kershaw’s career is the numerous awards and recognitions he has received throughout his time in the country music industry.

Kershaw has been nominated for several prestigious awards, including the Country Music Association Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards, and the Grammy Awards. He has also won several awards, including the Billboard Country Single of the Year Award in 1993 for his hit song ‘She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful.’

In addition to these awards, Kershaw has also been recognized for his contributions to the country music industry. He was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Louisiana Songwriters Association Hall of Fame in 2010.

Kershaw’s success in the industry has also led to him being honored with a star on the Louisiana Walk of Fame in 2010. These awards and recognitions are a testament to Kershaw’s talent and the impact he has had on country music.

Continuing Success and Touring

Sammy Kershaw continues to achieve success in his career through touring, with upcoming shows scheduled in various states across the United States. Kershaw’s dedication to his craft has led him to perform in front of thousands of fans each year, with his live performances consistently receiving rave reviews. His ability to connect with his audience through his music has been a major factor in his continued success as a touring artist.

Despite being in the music industry for over three decades, Kershaw shows no signs of slowing down. He has continued to release new music and tour regularly, showcasing his passion for his craft. Fans continue to flock to his shows, eager to hear his classic hits as well as new material.

Kershaw’s commitment to his fans and his love for music have helped him establish a lasting presence in the industry, and his touring success is a testament to his enduring popularity.

Philanthropic Efforts and Community Involvement

Philanthropic efforts and community involvement have been an important aspect of Sammy Kershaw’s career, as he has used his platform to support various charitable causes and organizations. Throughout his career, Kershaw has been actively involved in raising awareness and funds for a variety of causes, including cancer research and treatment, veterans’ issues, and disaster relief efforts.

In 2010, he established the Sammy Kershaw Foundation, which aims to help children and veterans in need by providing financial assistance and other forms of support. In addition to his work with his foundation, Kershaw has also been involved in various community events and initiatives, including benefit concerts and charity auctions.

He has also been a vocal advocate for improving healthcare access for veterans and has worked with organizations like the Wounded Warrior Project to support veterans and their families. Through his philanthropic efforts and community involvement, Kershaw has demonstrated a commitment to using his success as a musician to make a positive impact on the world around him.

Legacy and Impact on Country Music

Sammy Kershaw’s contributions to country music have left a lasting impact on the genre, inspiring and influencing countless artists and fans alike. Throughout his career, Kershaw has released several chart-topping albums and singles, including hits like ‘She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful’ and ‘Love of My Life.’

His music often featured traditional country themes, such as heartbreak, love, and family, which resonated with audiences across the country.

Moreover, Kershaw’s commitment to preserving traditional country music has contributed to his legacy and impact on the genre. He has often spoken out about the importance of keeping the roots of country music alive and has worked to promote and support new artists who share his passion for traditional country.

Additionally, Kershaw’s willingness to experiment with different styles and sounds while still staying true to his roots has further cemented his place in the history of country music.

Overall, Sammy Kershaw’s career has been defined by his commitment to traditional country music, and his impact on the genre will continue to be felt for years to come.