Jeff Carson considered himself a blessed man—he pursued two careers that he loved – music and police work.
After high school graduation, Carson entered a talent contest in Northwest Arkansas that marked the beginning of his music career. That second place finish earned him a spot in the winner’s band that he would play with for the next two or three years. His next move to Branson kept the pace and he was hired as the bass player for a local band.
Carson was content in Branson but decided to move to Nashville in 1989 and explore that avenue. In Nashville, his luck stayed with him, and he was hired as the bass player working at Opryland Hotel with a group and as a solo act.
Carson volunteered to do demos for songwriters for free so he could get his foot in the door to sing demos. He sang demos on songs that turned into hits for Tracy Byrd (“Walkin’ To Jerusalem”), Tracy Lawrence (“I See it Now”), Reba McEntire (“The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter”), Tim McGraw (“I Wouldn’t Want it Any Other Way”) and Faith Hill (“It Matters To Me”).
Carson soon garnered a label deal at Curb Records and the hit singles followed, “Yeah Buddy,” “Not On Your Love,” “The Car,” and “Real Life (I Was Never The Same Again).”
“Real Life (I Was Never The Same Again)” was released on 9/11/2001 and unknowingly the title would hold much more meaning. Carson had always said that if he had not pursued music, he would have looked at a career in law enforcement. “If we had time after a show, I’d go ride with officers on patrol. I always said, if music went away the only other thing I’d like to do would be a cop.” Carson graduated from the Police Academy in Franklin, Tennessee in 2008 at the age of 44.
The singer admitted that for about eight years he didn’t pick up his guitar, and then a few years ago, someone called him and asked if he would do a show at a casino in Michigan. “I told him I’d see if I could remember the words to my songs, but really the words and chord progressions and playing guitar came back to me right away.” He started to get other bookings and was back out on the road.
Most recently, in 2021, Carson signed with Encore Music Group and began recording a specialty album of his biggest hits to include duets with Michael Ray, Darryl Worley and Craig Morgan. However, on March 27, 2022, before the album’s release, Jeff Carson sadly passed away from a sudden heart attack at the age of 58. Encore Music will posthumously release this album just as Jeff would have wanted.
While the passing of Jeff Carson was a tremendous loss for his fans, community, and loved ones, before his death, Carson explained that he had no regrets in his career choices. “I have had the best of both worlds and feel very fortunate that I have had the opportunity of doing two things that I love.”