Jeff Carson

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About Jeff Carson

Jeff Carson was one of the new country singers who was able to parlay the mass success of country music in the early '90s to a massive hit with his eponymous first album. Carson was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but raised in the small Arkansas town of Gravette. As a child, he sang in church and played harmonica and guitar. While he was in high school, he and his friends formed a band to play at their school's talent show, performing the Eagles' "Seven Bridges Road." After the ad hoc group won second place, Carson decided to pursue a musical career. Following his high school graduation, he entered a talent contest at an entertainment complex called Ozark Mountain Music in Rogers, Arkansas. Although he didn't come in first, the winner asked Carson to play in his house band. For the next four years, he played with the outfit until they finally disbanded. Carson moved to Branson, Missouri, where he played bass in local bands and started writing his own songs. In Branson, he met and married his wife, Kim Cooper, who encouraged him to move to Nashville. Kim had a friend who played at the Opryland Hotel and his group Texana needed a bassist, prompting Carson to move to Music City in 1989. After some persuasion, he convinced the hotel to book him as a solo act. Around the same time, he signed a songwriting deal with Little Big Town Music and began singing on demo tapes for a variety of companies. Eventually, publisher/producer Chuck Howard heard Carson's original material and signed a publishing and development deal with him. By 1994, Jeff had signed with Curb Records. Jeff Carson's self-titled debut album was released in early 1995; the first single, "Yeah Buddy," went nowhere, but the second single, "Not on Your Love," rocketed to number one. It was followed by the Top Ten hit "The Car." Carson's second album, Butterfly Kisses, was issued in 1997, and Real Life followed in 2001. Both albums cracked the Top 40 of the Country albums chart, and "Real Life (I Never Was the Same Again)" rose to 14 on the Country singles survey, but it was the last significant hit of Carson's career. In 2009, Carson retired from music and became a police officer in Franklin, Tennessee, but issued a pair of tunes online in 2012. Jeff Carson died on March 26, 2002 in Franklin after suffering a heart attack. He was 58. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Tulsa, OK, United States
December 16, 1963

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