Jeff Carson, a country music chart-topper in the the 1990s, an ACM Award winner and writer of hits for major stars, has died of a heart attack at Williamson Medical Center in Franklin, Tennessee. He was 58.
As an artist, Carson – born Jeff Herndon in Tulsa, Oklahoma on December 16, 1964 – was a regular visitor to the country bestsellers in the second half of the 1990s. His biggest hit was the 1994 No.1 “Not On Your Love,” which was followed by double Top 10 success (on the same single) for both “The Car” and “Holdin’ Onto Somethin.’” He returned to the Top 20 in 2001 with “Real Life (I Never Was The Same Again).”
Carson’s early musical raising was singing in church, after which he formed a band in Rogers, Arkansas and then moved to Branson, Missouri where he wrote and played locally. Relocating again to Nashville, he recorded demos that produced hit covers by Tracy Byrd (“Walkin’ To Jerusalem”), Tracy Lawrence (“I See it Now”), Reba McEntire (the 1995 No.1 “The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter”), Tim McGraw (“I Wouldn’t Want It Any Other Way”), Faith Hill (“It Matters To Me”), Mark Wills (“Places I’ve Never Been”), Diamond Rio (“Mirror Mirror”), and others.
Signing as an artist to Curb, his own substantial success included a Video of the Year award at the ACMs for “The Car.” Carson retired from music in 2009 to become a law enforcement officer with Franklin Police Department in Williamson County, Tennessee, where he had remained on the police force.
He also made a return to music in 2019 via a singles deal with MC1 Nashville, where he recut and released the previously-recorded “God Save The World.” More recently he signed with Encore Music Group, for whom he had been in the studio with Buddy Hyatt, recording an album to be released later this year that includes duets with Michael Ray, Darryl Worley, Mark Wills, and Craig Morgan.