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Gene Watson's peers within the country music industry believe in the sheer talent of this unassuming man from east Texas, so much so that Gene is regarded by many of them as 'the singer's singer' - and rightly so!
All of Gene Watson's Peers who were contacted during 2008 were most gracious with their time and words. It is here, within this special part of the Gene Watson Fan Site, that you have an opportunity to read a quote from Sammy Kershaw, which he submitted to this site on Saturday 5 January 2008.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say 'thank you' to Sammy Kershaw who has made a special contribution to a unique part of this online 'celebration of a Lone Star Hero'.
This quote was submitted on Saturday 5 January 2008.
'Gene Watson is one of the greatest vocalists in the history of country music, and a very nice man.
There are not many left in this business like Gene Watson. God bless!'
Thank you, Sammy Kershaw, for your support of Gene Watson.
About Sammy Kershaw...
Sammy Kershaw was born on Monday 24 February 1958 in Abbeville, Louisiana and was raised in Kaplan, Louisiana; Sammy is the third cousin of Cajun fiddler Doug Kershaw). Sammy was the eldest of four children and tragically lost his father when he was eleven years old.
It was also at the age of eleven that Sammy Kershaw got his first guitar, a gift from his grandfather. Thereafter he worked a variety of jobs by day while playing roadhouses at night in order to support his family.
Sammy Kershaw began performing in Acadiana with Louisiana legend J.B. Pere. He subsequently opened shows for Ray Price, Merle Haggard and George Jones while barely into his teens. When the pressures of growing up fast took their toll in the form of a serious drug and alcohol problem, Sammy quit his bad habits in 1988 and took a break from music to work as a remodelling supervisor at Wal-Mart.
One of Sammy Kershaw's demonstration tapes made its way to Mercury Records, which released his debut album 'Don't Go Near The Water' (Mercury Records, 1991). This album was certified platinum by the RIAA and produced four hit singles.
The lead-off single, 'Cadillac Style', climbed to No.3 on the Billboard country music singles chart in late 1991/early 1992, which was followed by the title track which reached No.12, 'Yard Sale' which reached No.17 and finally 'Anywhere But Here' which reached No.10.
Sammy was initially reluctant to release 'Cadillac Style' because he felt that it was not suitable for his style; however, his co-producer, Buddy Cannon, convinced him to give the song a chance. Kershaw's often honky-tonk material and singing voice led to critical comparisons to George Jones; one of Jones' early singles, 'What Am I Worth', was covered on his debut as well.
Sammy Kershaw's second album, 'Haunted Heart' (Mercury Records, 1993), followed in 1993. Its lead-off single, 'She Don't Know She's Beautiful', became his only No.1 Billboard country music hit, and this occurred in April 1993. This track was followed by the title track, the Dennis Linde-penned 'Queen Of My Double-wide Trailer' and 'I Can't Reach Her Anymore', all of which reached the Billboard country music Top 10 as well.
Like his debut album, 'Haunted Heart' (Mercury Records, 1993) was also a platinum album.
'Feelin' Good Train' (Mercury Records, 1994) was the title of Sammy Kershaw's third album, which was released in the latter part of 1994; the album also produced four more Billboard country music hits, including two consecutive No.2 hits with 'National Working Woman's Holiday', which was written by James Dean Hicks, and 'Third Rate Romance', the latter track a cover of the Amazing Rhythm Aces hit from 1975.
'Feelin' Good Train' (Mercury Records, 1994) also included Billboard country music hits 'Soundbound' (No.27, 1995) and 'If You're Gonna Walk, I'm Gonna Crawl' (No.18, 1995).
'Feelin' Good Train' (Mercury Records, 1994) also included a duet with George Jones on 'Never Bit A Bullet Like This', a track that had previously been included on George Jones' 'High Tech Redneck' (MCA Records, 1993).
'Feelin' Good Train' (Mercury Records, 1994), which was certified gold, was followed by 'Christmas Time's A-Coming' (Mercury Records, 1994) and 'The Hits, Chapter 1' (Mercury Records, 1995); the latter produced a No.47 peaking single with 'Your Tattoo' (written by Kostas and Jack Tempchin), the first single of Sammy Kershaw's career not to reach the Billboard Top 40.
Sammy Kershaw's fourth album, the gold-certified 'Politics, Religion And Her' (Mercury Records, 1996), was issued in 1996 and produced Billboard Top Ten country music hits 'Meant To Be' and 'Vidalia'. These songs were followed by 'Fit To Be Tied Down' and the title track, both of which reached the Billboard country music Top 30. Also included on 'Politics, Religion And Her' (Mercury Records, 1996) were covers of Chuck Berry's 'Memphis, Tennessee' and Sammy Johns' 'Chevy Van'.
Sammy Kershaw's 'Labor Of Love' (Mercury Records, 1997) was released in 1997 and was his fifth album. Unlike his previous albums, this one was predominantly composed of ballads. It produced a Billboard No.2 country music hit with 'Love Of My Life' and, although none of the other three singles ('Matches', 'Honky Tonk America' and 'One Day Left To Live') reached higher than No.22, the album was nonetheless certified platinum as well.
Sammy Kershaw's next album, his sixth release, was 'Maybe Not Tonight' (Mercury Records, 1999) and included a Billboard Top 20 duet with Lorrie Morgan. The album was commercially less successful than its predecessors and became the first album of Sammy Kershaw's career not to achieve an RIAA certification. Following 'Maybe Not Tonight' were the singles 'When You Love Someone' and 'Me And Maxine', both of which peaked in the Billboard country music Top 30.
'Louisiana Hot Sauce', the final release from 'Maybe Not Tonight (Mercury Records, 1999), was also the first single of Sammy Kershaw's career not to enter the Billboard charts.
In 2000, Sammy Kershaw saw the release of 'Coverin' The Hits' (Mercury Records, 2000), an album of cover songs; the album comprised ten cover songs that Sammy Kershaw had recorded in his career and also included a rendition of Dr. Hook's 'Little Bit More', a previously unreleased cover which Sammy had recorded during the sessions for 'Labor Of Love' (Mercury Records, 1997).
By 2001, Sammy Kershaw and Lorrie Morgan had married. The two recorded 'I Finally Found Someone' (BNA Records, 2001), a vocal duet album, the title track of which was a cover of the Bryan Adams/Barbra Streisand duet.
'I Finally Found Someone' (BNA Records, 2001) was even less successful commercially, with its only Billboard Top 40 country music hit being 'He Drinks Tequila', which reached No.39. Shortly afterward, a second greatest hits collection was released and Sammy Kershaw left Mercury Records.
In 2003, Sammy Kershaw signed with Audium Entertainment and saw the release of 'I Want My Money Back'; the album produced a Billboard No.33 country music hit with the title track, but the second single fell short of the Billboard country music Top 40.
The third and final single, 'Beer, Bait And Ammo', which failed to chart, was previously recorded by Kevin Fowler and included as the title track of his debut album 'Beer, Bait And Ammo' (Tin Roof Records, 2000).
'Beer, Bait And Ammo' was also recorded by Mark Chesnutt who included the track on 'Savin' The Honky Tonk' (Vivaton Records, 2004).
After Audium Entertainment closed its Nashville division, Sammy Kershaw signed with Category 5 Records, then a newly-established independent label, in 2006. His first release for the label and first chart single in three years, 'Tennessee Girl', fell three spaces short of the Billboard Top 40 that year. It was the first release from his 2006 album 'Honky Tonk Boots' (Category 5 Records, 2006).
The album's only other single, a cover of Mel McDaniel's No.1 Billboard country music hit 'Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On', failed to chart; Mel McDaniel's version of 'Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On' was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in February/March 1985.
Financial difficulties caused Category 5 Records to close in 2007; in October of the same year, Sammy Kershaw divorced Lorrie Morgan, citing irreconcilable differences.
In June 2007, Sammy Kershaw announced his candidacy for lieutenant governor of Louisiana in the October 20 jungle primary. The position was held by the incumbent Democrat, Mitch Landrieu. Kershaw also faced a second Republican candidate, State Representative Gary Beard of Baton Rouge, an engineer first elected to the state House in a 2001 special election. Sammy finished second with thirty percent of the vote, but Landrieu won re-election with a majority on the first ballot.
Sammy Kershaw's first single in two years, 'Real People', was released in late 2008 on the Boomerville/Big Hit Records label.
In Kaplan, Louisiana Sammy established the Sammy Kershaw Foundation to fulfil his goal of improving the lives of children; the Foundation helps child-related charities and grants wishes through the 'Make a Wish Foundation'.