Sammy Sadler Years after a Shooting Tragedy on Nashville's Music Row Derailed His Career, the Singer Returns with a 'Heart Shaped Like Texas'

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Country singer Sammy Sadler prepares for the release of his new CD "Heart Shaped Like Texas."

Trying To Get The Girl

Choosing to pursue a career in Nashville over accepting any one of several college baseball scholarships right out of high school, Sammy Sadler ( )was a rising country music star on top of the world at the age of 21. Signed to Evergreen Records, he was riding high in 1989 with a total of six charting singles--including a memorable cover of Aaron Neville's "Tell It Like It Is"--and was in the process of recording his first full-length album.

Then, in a horrifying shooting tragedy that would become known around the world as the "Murder on Music Row," Sadler was seriously wounded and his friend Kevin Hughes killed. The case remained unsolved for 13 years but eventually, Hughes' associate at the famed industry publication Cashbox was convicted of murder.

While he became an unwitting footnote to the dark side of country music history, Sadler was determined not to let the incident dictate his future. Sadler never lost his desire to get back in the studio and become a recording artist--a dream he finally realized with the 2004 release of his debut album Hard On A Heart, which spawned three popular country singles including "I Know A Place" and "That Ole Gravel Road."

Gearing up for the late Spring 2008 release of his latest album Heart Shaped Like Texas, Sadler is enjoying great success on the U.S. and European country charts. Last summer, the title track "Heart Shaped Like Texas" made inroads at country radio, and Sadler's latest single, the fun and infectious "Trying To Get The Girl" shipped to the format in mid-January. "Trying To Get The Girl" was penned by three of Nashville's top hit men, Kim Tribble ("On A Mission"), Keith Follese ("The Way You Love Me") and Wade Kirby ("Baby You Belong").

While he knows the Music Row shooting and its physical, emotional and spiritual aftermath will always be part of who he is, Sadler is grateful for his second chance at life. With the release of Heart Shaped Like Texas, the country music survivor feels that he's at last fulfilling his long delayed musical destiny.


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