Jeff Carson was one of the new country singers who was able to parlay the mass success of country music in the early '90s to a massive hit with his eponymous first album.
Carson was born in Tulsa, OK, but raised in the small Arkansas town of Gravette. As a child, he sang in church and played harmonica and guitar. While he was in high school, he and his friends formed a band to play their school's talent show, performing the Eagles' "Seven Bridges Road." After the ad hoc group won second place, Carson was convinced to pursue a musical career. Following his high-school graduation, he entered a talent contest at an entertainment complex called Ozark Mountain Music in Rogers, AR. Although he didn't come in first, the winner asked Carson to play in his house band. For the next four years, he played with the outfit, until they finally disbanded.
Carson moved to Branson, MO, where he played bass in local bands and started writing his own songs. In Branson, he met and married his wife, Kim Cooper, who encouraged him to move to Nashville. Kim had a friend who played at the Opryland Hotel and his group Texana needed a bassist -- hence, Carson moved to Music City in 1989. After some persuasion, he convinced the hotel to book him as a solo act. Around the same time, he signed a songwriting deal with Little Big Town Music and began singing on demo tapes for a variety of companies. Eventually, publisher/producer Chuck Howard heard Carson's original material and signed a publishing and development deal with him. By 1994, Jeff had signed with Curb Records.
Jeff Carson's self-titled debut album was released in early 1995; the first single, "Yeah Buddy," went nowhere, but the second single, "Not on Your Love," rocketed to number one. It was followed by the Top Ten hit "The Car." ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine