Sara Evans Born to Fly

Sara Evans Born to Fly

by Snehashree Mandal for Country Music News International

How did music come by, Sara?

 

Evans was the oldest of seven children raised on a farm in New Franklin, Missouri. By the age of five, she began performing in her family’s band on weekends. She was struck by a car in front of the family home when she was eight years old, and her legs fractured in many places. Singing was what helped pay her medical fees while being stuck in a wheelchair for months. Sara’s father took her to Nashville when she was about ten years old, where she recorded a single (called “I’m Going to Be the Only Female Fiddle Player in Charlie Daniels Band”) and attempted to sell it at Fan Fair.

 

What shaped her music

 

She subsequently began playing at a nightclub nearby Columbia, Missouri, when she was 16, a job that lasted two years. Evans relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1991 to pursue a career in country music. She met fellow musician Craig Schelske in Nashville and moved to Oregon with him in 1992. They tied the knot in 1993. In 1995, she moved back to Nashville and began recording demos. Harlan Howard, a Nashville songwriter, was so taken with her demo of his song I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail that he chose to assist her in her music career, resulting in a signed contract with RCA Nashville.

 

Her story so far….

 

Evans contributed vocals to Martina McBride’s Evolution album, released in 1997 on the RCA label. Evans’ debut album with RCA, Three Chords and the Truth, was released later that year. Evans’ second album, No Place That Far, was released in 1998. “Cryin’ Game,” the album’s debut song, likewise failed to chart in the Top 40. Evans’ first No. 1 hit on the Hot Country Songs list came in March 1999 with the album’s second single, the title tune. The album was later certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, and “Fool, I’m a Woman” became another Top 40 country hit.

 

Born to Fly, Evans’ third studio album, was released on October 10, 2000. She insisted on employing Matt Chamberlain, a Seattle-based rock drummer who gave her compositions a unique sound.

Evans was by far the most nominated artist at the Country Music Association awards in 2001, garnering seven nominations. She won her first CMA award for Video of the Year with “Born to Fly,” her first significant industry prize.

 

Restless, Evans’ fourth studio album, was released on August 19, 2003. It was also Evans’ first Gold-certified hit by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Restless was nominated for an Academy of Country Music Award in 2005.

 

Real Fine Place, Evans’ fifth studio album, was released on October 4, 2005. “A Real Fine Place to Start,” the album’s debut song, charted at No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs list and in the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 in 2005. The RIAA awarded it gold certification. In its first week, the album sold 130,000 copies. Evans released a gift book to coincide with the release of the fourth song from the album. Evans, Tony Martin, and Tom Shapiro wrote the song, also named You’ll Always Be My Baby.

 

Where else can you see her?

 

Evans, a libertarian Republican, endorsed Texas Congressman Ron Paul in the 2008 presidential election and was the featured speaker at his “Rally for The Republic” on September 2, 2008, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which took place on the same day as the Republican National Convention in nearby St. Paul. Evans also became a spokeswoman for the National Eating Disorders Association and has spoken out extensively on the matter, having been personally affected. Evans also organized Fashion for Every Body, a charity event that included a fashion display, silent auction, and Evans’ performance. In August 2015, she left RCA Nashville and built a family band called The Barker Family Band. Her television works are also well-known, including her role as Belinda in the 2020 release of A Nashville’s Christmas Carol. 

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