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Sammy Kershaw

Sammy Kershaw rode in on the new traditionalist wave in the early '90s, finding success with a penchant for ballads and a blend of updated honky tonk (especially the vocal stylings of George Jones), Southern rock, and a hint of Cajun flavor. But as his career progressed, Kershaw moved farther and farther into crossover-minded country-pop, which actually eroded his early following. He was born in 1958 in Kaplan, Louisiana, in the heart of Cajun country; in fact, his third cousin was legendary Cajun fiddler Doug Kershaw. He got his first electric guitar at age 11 from his grandfather, but sadly, his father passed away not long after, forcing Kershaw to get professional as quickly as he could. He debuted at age 12 with local bandleader J.B. Perry and often worked for Perry as both a musician and roadie during his teenage years, touring the Southern club and honky tonk circuit.

In 1980, Kershaw moved to Oklahoma with his wife and worked a day job while singing in local bands. However, his marriage fell apart two years later, and he returned to Louisiana, where he went through a succession of day jobs, remarried in 1985, and joined a touring club band called Blackwater in the mid-'80s. Unfortunately, the honky tonk lifestyle took its toll on Kershaw, who developed major problems with drugs and alcohol. In order to save his marriage, he quit everything cold turkey in 1988 -- including the music business, taking a full-time job at Wal-Mart as a supervisor of store remodeling. However, his songwriter friend Barry Jackson convinced him to submit a demo tape to Mercury Records in 1990, and after a showcase performance, Kershaw finally landed the record deal he'd spent so long pursuing.

Kershaw's debut album, Don't Go Near the Water, was released in 1991 and spawned the breakout hit single "Cadillac Style," which reached number three on the country charts the following year. The title cut and "Yard Sale" both charted in the Top 20, and "Anywhere but Here" became his second Top Ten hit in 1993, helping the album go platinum. Later that year, Kershaw issued his second album, Haunted Heart, which many critics and fans still regard as his finest. The lead single, "She Don't Know She's Beautiful," became Kershaw's first number one hit, and its three follow-ups -- the title track, "Queen of My Double Wide Trailer," and "I Can't Reach Her Anymore" -- all went Top Ten; plus, the album became his second straight million-seller. Building on that commercial success, Kershaw began his shift away from hard honky tonk and toward more radio-friendly contemporary country with his next effort, 1994's Feelin' Good Train. He scored two number two hits with the anthem "National Working Woman's Holiday" and a cover of the Amazing Rhythm Aces' country-rock hit "Third Rate Romance"; plus, the album featured a duet with his longtime idol George Jones on "Never Bit a Bullet Like This." At the end of the year, Kershaw released a holiday album, Christmas Time's a Comin'.

Kershaw returned in 1996 with Politics, Religion and Her, which found his sales beginning to slip a bit. Even so, he managed two Top Ten hits off the album: "Meant to Be" and the novelty song "Vidalia." 1997's Labor of Love was a ballad-heavy affair that returned Kershaw to the Top Ten of the country album charts; its "Love of My Life" became Kershaw's last big hit to date, peaking at number two. Even so, Kershaw's albums were growing increasingly uneven and pushing him farther into adult contemporary territory. That was especially true on 1999's Maybe Not Tonight, which found him covering '70s soft rocker Leo Sayer's "More Than I Can Say"; he also duetted on the Top 20 title track with Lorrie Morgan, who became his third wife in 2001. That year, they teamed up for the duet album I Finally Found Someone. Neither it nor Kershaw's last solo album produced any big-time hits, and he wound up parting ways with Mercury in the aftermath. He went on to sign with Koch subsidiary Audium, a newly established home for many country veterans of the '80s and '90s. His first album for the label, I Want My Money Back, was released in 2003 and the title track made it into Billboard's Country Top 40, but the record soon slipped down the charts. Audium closed a little while after the release of I Want My Money Back and Kershaw moved over to Category 5 in 2006, where he released Honky Tonk Boots in June of that year; it generated no hits and the label folded in 2007.

After these two records, Kershaw spent some time pursuing a political career, running for lieutenant governor of Louisiana as a Republican in that state's 2007 primary. He came in second in the election; he attempted to run again in 2010 and came in second that year, as well. Also in 2010, Kershaw returned to music, releasing the Buddy Cannon-produced Better Than I Used to Be album on Big Hit Records that summer. Two years later, he released his second holiday album -- A Sammy Klaus Christmas appeared on MRI that October -- and in 2013, Kershaw set out on the road with Joe Diffie and Aaron Tippin on a tour called All in the Same Boat; the trio released an accompanying album of the same name in May. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Better Than I Used To Be (Radio Single)

Comments

katielizabet h 5 0
Cause he is amazing how could a record label do that
katielizabet h 5 0
I love this song but ugh record labels needs get their game up����
b.carson33
Such a good song. This is when country music was good. Country from 60s-90s is the best era!
The only way to fly
To Mama from Daddy.
This is what I call true country music
uncle sammy
Beautiful song and catchy! ♦
he is handsome
Kiss your hand
Say your crushes name
Closer your hand
Pick a school day
Say your name
Post this 15 other songs
KERSHAW KNIVES
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of you life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lover's name will come on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works
eric.ward11
I love this song
Ok
Yea his music is still here.
lauraidar
Hi
shercutter
That's why she's beautiful
Hey tiffany, u are beautiful. Love u.
She Don't Know She's Beautiful
I'm sooooooooo ugly
one direction ripped of his song!!
Come back Sammy!!!
joyj377
I like Sammy!
Sammy is the man !!!
I think someone should start another record lable for country music' s never forgotten artists.
Can't compare with George. Don't like it.
hiphopweiner
Good song
i love this song its so true if you agree follow me
kimstev
Gotta love Sammy!
imgigglegirl
Timeless and classic! Still listening to his CD's.
Sounds a lil like Wood and Wire by George Jones (unreleased version) must be playin possum.
twoolledge1
Come back man we need some more
alisacourvil l e
Im from kaplan. Haha, my mom dated his nephew.
Great song by sammy kershaw, miss hearing his songs on the radio. Great singer.
Better by george Jones definately no 1 can do it better
ccongogo
Had the pleasure of meeting Sammy Kershaw several times. He used to come to Texas to play in a local pub in Pasadena, Tx
Had the pleasure of attending one of Sammy's gigs in a small club in Reno early in his career. Got to spend some quality time with Sammy out back on his bus. What a down to earth MAN. Love his voice and showmanship. Instant and forever fan club member!
SAMMY TELL YOUR MOMA HAZEL'S DAUGHTER SAYS HI. LET IT ROLL ON SAMMY.
bholler1
I love Sammy Kershaw, his music is great, and his voice sounds a lot like Randy Travis.
Loved it when Doug Kershaw's baby boy got into country music. Love them both
You sound alot like the possum. (George Jones)
Sammy Kershaw I went to your concert in Nashville Tennessee in 1997. I miss your tours. What is going on now?
john71579
Country artist with a great voice great songs. Needed Better manager/prod u c e r its not to late to come back. Terry B.
Another country artist with a voice but no real talent (didn't write his songs). Files bankruptcy then runs for Lt. Gov of Louisianna same year and loses then runs again a couple of years later and loses again.



i love this song. it makes me shoot pool like a pro
linda_3
Ive always loved Sammy from the beginning.Th a t smile from his 1st video was all I needed and his voice wow!! Too bad they dont promote some of these artist more.Look at Toby Keith he had to start his own label to get heard.
shopdog3g2
I don't know who manages this guy but they should be fired. He would sell out here in Phoenix in a heartbeat. Why these artists fade is more due to their handlers and the ignorant music execs that dominate the industry. Sammy will always be in my mind one of the best. Call me Sammy and lets get it done.
He has a fabulous voice and a smile to die for!!!
math3063
I love Sammy Kershaw. He has such a great country voice.
gerogia_bodi e
WOULD LIKE TO HEAR MORE FROM SAMMY!! HE STILL HAS IT IN HIM!!
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