from Orlando, Florida, who started out performing on WORZ’s
Hillbilly Radio Show which was
headlined by her father. She attended Edgewater High School,
and was bit with the acting bug when she portrayed Mammy Yokum in a production of Li’l Abner. Mel Tillis
discovered her at, of all places, the Ponderosa Steak House Lounge. Soon, she was attending college,
singing live gigs and performing on the radio.
Her move to
Nashville, Tennessee, is the stuff of rural legend, riding in a horse
trailer with fifty bucks in her pocket. She worked a series of odd jobs, was
fired from the traffic department at WSM, and even sold bras, but she did
land a few gigs, as a jazz singer, no less, with Richard Cotten’s and Boyce Hawkins’ bands.
Sharon was one
of the original members of the Lea Jane Singers, who were a staple on
country albums in the ‘70s.
She also worked with The Holladay Sisters, The Jordanaires
and The Nashville Edition. After
a brief stint as a solo artist, which resulted in a top-twenty hit, she
spent a decade as an on-air TV personality.
calling, however, was songwriting.
This was evidenced when The Oak Ridge Boys took “Y’all
Come Back Saloon” to #1.
Even bigger success came when Waylon Jennings sang “My Heroes
Have Always Been Cowboys”.
It appeared on The Outlaws,
which has the distinction of being the first country album to go triple
platinum. Willie Nelson
famously covered the song and took it to #1, partially on the strength of The Electric Horseman, in which it
appeared. The soundtrack of
that film was nominated for an Academy Award.
accomplishments alone, Sharon’s nomination into the NSAI
Songwriters’ Hall of Fame was a no-brainer. That was in 2005, the same year an
old recording of John Rich (of Big & Rich fame) re-surfaced. Underneath
the Same Moon was recorded in 1999, and features Sharon on background
vocals and in the capacities of producer and co-writer, with L. David Lewis
and John Rich, of the title track.
for theatre, however, never went away.
She has since moved to New York and embarked on a career in musical
theatre. Along with Rupert
Holmes and Melissa Manchester, she has seen The Sweet Potato Queens, The Musical, finally come to
fruition. It is based on a
series of books penned by Jill Conner-Brown. In January 2008, another one of her
productions, Hats!, opened at Harrah’s
Theatre Room in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Her latest stage adventure is a collaboration
with Doug Besterman on a musical about Jerry
Lewis and Dean Martin.
Sharon keeps one foot in the door of the recording industry. In tandem with Lee Brice and Kyle
Jacobs, she has crafted a number of compositions for one of RCA’s new
artists, Crystal Shawanda, to whom Sharon gives
high marks. Her songs,
including “The Guardian” and “Why”, continue to be
covered overseas. They must be
a lucky charm: Delta Goodrem’s version of “The Guardian”
helped propel her new album to #1 and platinum status in a mere 48
runs her own publishing house, Grinnin’
Girl Music, with whom she won a BMI Publishing Award for Rodney
Clawson’s “Amarillo Sky”. If there is such a thing as the
Midas touch, Sharon has it. For
more info on this multi-talented artist, please see her myspace
page, listed below.