Future Lt. Governor Sammy Kershaw?
Country singer Sammy Kershaw is busier these days than a CSI investigator.
He's touring, he's been doing benefit concerts to help fishermen and Gulf coast residents cope with the oil spill, and he has announced his candidacy for lieutenant governor in Louisiana in the Oct. 20 primary.
Friday night, his itinerary brings him to Penn's Peak where he makes his initial appearance in a concert starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are economically priced at $25 and $20.
Kershaw has had a slew of charted songs including "She Don't Know She's Beautiful," "Third Rate Romance," "National Working Woman's Holiday," and the sad ballad, "Yard Sale."
The congenial and appreciative performer said he has been entertaining for 40 years, starting when he was just 12 years old.
"I love doing ballads," he said in a phone interview from his Louisiana home. "My career didn't quite work out to be a lot of ballads, though."
Asked about personal highlights of his career he said the main one is "just getting to do what I like to do."
Of course, there are some others that he can mention, like getting to perform in the Mother of all country venues, The Grand Ole Opry, in 1992; recording with country icon George Jones on an album, being inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, and achieving LPs that went gold and platinum.
He noted that if he wins the position of lieutenant governor, he will have to reduce his touring, "but I will keep on writing and recording."
"My first priority will be to take care of the people of Louisiana," he said.
Kershaw admits the music industry has gone through enormous changes since he first started recording. Those changes have led to veterans being sidestepped by radio stations for younger performers whose style is less twangy than many old-time singers.
There's no bitterness by Kershaw regarding the new-style country.
"You can't knock success," he said.
Kershaw said he still hopes to eventually be inducted into the Opry.
Meanwhile, he said, "I try to put out the best music I can every time I perform. I just love what I do: music."
What impresses him, he said, is the wide range groups which come to see him entertain. He said he has seen 2 and 3-year-old children in the audience as well as many senior citizens.
"My music didn't hit certain age groups," he said. "I've been lucky in this way."
He said he has been kept busy since the oil spill because he has become spokesperson for Protectourcoastline.org.
When he does find a little spare time, he said, "I love to play golf. I love working with my hands, too. I'm a carpenter by trade and I love to play with wood."
Kershaw assured that in his Penn's Peak concert, "We will do all the hits. We will do a few songs off the new LP to try out on our following."
Of the hits, he promised, "We try to sound as close to the records as we can."
He said regarding not only the Penn's Peak concert but any show he does, "I thank everybody for helping me achieve my lifelong dream. I've been a pretty lucky guy."
"I really appreciate the people coming out to see me," he said.
Asked if he had advice for any budding entertainers, he said, "I always tell them to make sure this is what you want. Once you get it, your life doesn't belong to you anymore. It belongs to everyone else."