Kershaw croons for crowds at North Hagerstown High

June 28, 1997


Staff Writer, Waynesboro

There was no 10-gallon hat, no fringe and no sequins. He wore a dark green T-shirt, jeans and plain brown cowboy boots.

The only things glinting off country music star Sammy Kershaw on stage at North High School Friday night were the diamond chips in the Rolex on his left wrist.

The 800 fans at the night's first show didn't notice. They were too busy screaming and waving their delight as Kershaw lit into such standards as "Politics, Religion and Her," "Runnin' With Your Heart" and "Fit to be Tied Down."


Kershaw looked more like he grew up on the New York side of New Jersey rather than in the Louisiana Cajun country. His songs, like those of rock star Bruce Springsteen, who is from New Jersey, send out a message to the common man.

The audience - which included teenagers as well as folks in their 60s - was slightly more populated with women then men.

Tickets were $25. About 2,000 were sold for the two shows, said Jim Wilburn, president of JDA Productions Inc. in Hagerstown, the company that brought in Kershaw.

Tim and Debbie Hawks of Hagerstown were among the fans.

"We go to a lot of country music concerts. This one is nice because it's close to home," Debbie Hawks said.

The couple's four children, ages 6-14, were home with babysitters or relatives.

"They don't like country music. They go for that rap stuff," her husband said.

Justina Oden, 38, Nikki Sharrah, 20, and Larry Forrest, 24, all from Hagerstown, were sitting in the back of the auditorium waiting for the show to start.

Sharrah said she and her sister-in-law spotted Kershaw Thursday afternoon as his entourage was parked at the Ames Shopping Center on the Dual Highway. She recognized Kershaw.

"He was driving the bus," she said.

They followed the bus to a local restaurant and waited until Kershaw emerged. Both got his autograph.

Debbie Demski, 40, of Frederick, Md., her friend, Debbie Morrow, 42, also of Frederick and Wilma Jenkins, 61, of Martinsburg, W.Va., also were waiting for Kershaw to come on stage.

Demski sat impatiently, binoculars on her lap.

"I want to see him real close," she said. "I wish I was right up front."

Morrow said she started listening to country music about four years ago. She attended a couple of concerts and heard Kershaw sing. She began buying this albums. Her favorite Kershaw song is "Vidalia." Demski's favorite is "This Ain't Hopscotch."

Heather Grove, 20, has been a fan of Kershaw for six years. She walked up to the stage during the concert and handed Kershaw a bouquet of flowers.

"This is the first time I've seen him. He's great."

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