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A country singer with plenty of heart

October 14, 2004|by Cheryl M. Keyser

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - It's fair to say Sammy Kershaw likes his job.

In his career, Kershaw has produced many multiplatinum hits, such as "She Don't Know She's Beautiful," "I Can't Reach Her Anymore," "National Working Woman's Holiday," "Love of My Life," "Cadillac Style," "Don't Go Near The Water" and "Haunted Heart."

His latest release is "I Want My Money Back."

"I like to work," Kershaw said.

On Oct. 15, the audience can hear the fruits of this country music singer's labor when he performs at the Capitol Theatre in Chambersburg, Pa. He will be accompanied on stage by a six-member band playing fiddle, piano, guitars, bass and drums.

"This is part of a continuing tour that started some 13 years ago," Kershaw said.

Kershaw soon will head back to a studio in Nashville to begin recording his new album. While on the road, he travels with a condensed studio on his bus.

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"I like to work," he said.

Originally from Cajun country in Louisiana, Kershaw started performing at age 12 in the Lafayette area of the state.

"I sang in clubs six nights a week and went to school during the day," said Kershaw.

He was determined to make it in the music business.

"This was my dream. Music was in my heart and soul, and I did what I had to do to keep on performing."

Kershaw writes some of his own material, but he does not claim this as his great strength. "I do better if I write with someone else," he added.

To get to where he is now, he paid his dues along the way, doing everything from carpentry, to welding, to concrete finishing, plumbing and other odd jobs to keep him going.

Twenty-one years after starting out in that first nightclub, he had his first major hit.

"I was a 21-year overnight success," he said jokingly.

He shares the rewards of that success with his hometown. He has set up the Sammy Kershaw Foundation of Acadiana, based in Kaplan, La., to help children in need.

"Every year on Mother's Day we get a bunch of performers from Nashville and do a big show to raise money," he said.

Kershaw sends a special message to local fans: "I appreciate their support and hope they will keep on giving it to me. They have helped me make my dream come true."

Cheryl M. Keyser is a freelance writer for The Herald-Mail.

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