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The career of Sara Evans goes back further than most country fans realize. Raised on a farm in Missouri, she was singing every weekend in her family's band at age 5. She was already a recording veteran at age 11. Believing that singing was to be her life's work, she arrived in Nashville in the summer of 1991. She met musician Craig Schelske, with whom she migrated to Oregon a year later. They formed both a professional and personal partnership there, marrying in 1993. After three years of performing together, they returned to Music City in the fall of 1995.
Country Music Hall of Fame songwriter Harlan Howard and his wife Melanie were quick to see the seasoned performer's potential. After Sara Evans recorded a new version of Harlan's classic "I've Got a Tiger By the Tail," he urged RCA to listen. Sadly, Harlan Howard died March 3, 2002, just as she was becoming the big star he'd always believed she would be.
"That tugged at my heart," she says softly. "He was really the reason I got my record deal. He really did call RCA and say, 'You've got to meet with this girl.' I really don't know that I would be here if it weren't for him and Melanie."
Even so, she had a steep hill to climb before the awards and parties came her way. The distinctive Sara Evans sound was awhile in coming.
"I thought, 'This is my make-it-or-break-it record. I have GOT to recruit somebody to help me home in on who I am as an artist. Because I know I can write songs; I know I can sing; I know I can perform.' That's when I called Paul Worley. And he totally understood."
"And then, thank God, we got a call from Marcus Hummon. He said, 'I'd really like to write with Sara because "Three Chords and the Truth" is one of my favorite songs, and I really think we could write well together.' I'd never met him. He and Darrell Scott drove out to my house, and we just started talking about my life and where I was from. Marcus started playing this little tune. And that's how 'Born To Fly' came to be."
"Once 'Born to Fly' was written, I had such inspiration. I wrote 'I Keep Looking' after that. And that's when I
realized that something great was unfolding."
Awards include --
Hit songs include --
Sara Evans may be available for your next special event.