Sammy Kershaw (born Samuel Paul Kershaw, February 24, 1958, Kaplan, Louisiana) is an American country music artist.
One of Kershaw's demo tapes made its way to Mercury Records, which released his debut album “Don't Go Near the Water” in 1991. This album was certified platinum by the RIAA, and it produced four hit singles. The lead-off, “Cadillac Style,” went to #3 in late 1991-early 1992, followed by the #12 title track, “Yard Sale” at #17, and finally “Anywhere but Here” at #10.
Kershaw's second album, “Haunted Heart,” followed in 1993. Its lead-off single, “She Don't Know She's Beautiful,” became his first #1 hit in April of that year. Following it was the title track, the Dennis Linde-penned “Queen of My Double-Wide Trailer” and “I Can't Reach Her Anymore,” all of which hit the Top 10 as well. Like his debut, “Haunted Heart” was also a platinum certified album.
“Feelin' Good Train” was the title of Kershaw's third album, released in 1994. This album also produced four more hits, including two consecutive #2's in “National Working Woman's Holiday” and “Third Rate Romance,” with the #27 “Southbound” and #18 “If You're Gonna Walk, I'm Gonna Crawl” following in 1995. “Feelin' Good Train,” which was certified gold, was followed by a Christmas album “Christmas Times A Comin'” and his first greatest-hits package, “Greatest Hits, Volume 1,” both in 1995.
Kershaw's fourth studio album, the gold-certified “Politics, Religion and Her,” was issued in 1996. It produced Top 10 hits in “Meant to Be” and “Vidalia.” These songs were followed by “Fit to Be Tied Down” and the title track, both of which hit the Top 30.
“Labor of Love” was issued later in 1997 as his fifth album. Unlike his previous albums, this one was predominantly composed of ballads. It produced a #2 hit in “Love of My Life,” and although none of the other three singles reached higher than #22, the album was nonetheless certified platinum as well.
His next album, 1999’s “Maybe Not Tonight,” brought a Top 20 duet with Lorrie Morgan in the title track. “Maybe Not Tonight” was commercially less successful than its predecessors, becoming the first album of Kershaw's career not to achieve an RIAA certification. Following the release of “Maybe Not Tonight” were the singles “When You Love Someone” and “Me and Maxine,” both of which reached the Top 40. “Louisiana Hot Sauce,” the final release from “Maybe Not Tonight,” was also the first single of his career not to enter the charts.
In 2000, Kershaw released an album of cover songs entitled “Covers the Hits.” This album comprised ten cover songs that Kershaw had recorded in his career. Some of the songs on it, such as the single “Third Rate Romance,” were previously found on Kershaw's studio albums, while others came from various tribute albums to which he had contributed.
By 2001, Kershaw and Morgan had married. The two recorded a vocal duet album in 2001 entitled “I Finally Found Someone.” This album was even less successful commercially, with its only Top 40 hit being the #39 “He Drinks Tequila.” Shortly afterward, a second Greatest Hits package was released, and Kershaw left Mercury's roster.
In 2003, Kershaw signed to Audium Entertainment to release the album “I Want My Money Back.” This album produced a #33 single in its title track, but the second single fell short of the Top 40. The third and final single, “Beer, Bait & Ammo” failed to chart.
After Audium closed its Nashville division, Kershaw signed to 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 Top 40 that year. It was the first release from his 2006 album “Honky Tonk Boots.” The album's only other single, a cover of Mel McDaniel's #1 hit “Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On,” failed to chart, and financial difficulties caused the label to close in 2007. In October of the same year, he divorced Morgan, citing irreconcilable differences.
In 2007, Kershaw announced his candidacy for lieutenant governor of Louisiana. Kershaw finished second losing to the incumbent. In 2008, Kershaw was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in honor of his career achievements and was also inducted into the Louisiana Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame in 2010.
Kershaw's first single in two years, “Real People,” was released in late 2008 in the Boomerville/Big Hit label. However, the single failed to chart. His tenth studio album, “Better Than I Used to Be,” was released in 2010.
Later in 2010, Kershaw announced his second bid for lieutenant governor in the October special election but was defeated in the primaries.