Sammy Sadler’s story, one he is recounting firsthand in a new book, is one of those cautionary tales about life in the corporate music fast lane. Sadler, a breakout country artist in the late 1980s, had every reason to expect success in his industry.
His voice commanded a wide range and his voice had something lacking in so many–character and uniqueness. He had the looks, and his songs were charting nicely. Then came the night when he and his friend Kevin Hughes were leaving Sadler’s record label offices. A gunman emerged from the shadows, killing Hughes and seriously wounding Sadler.
Though a song by the same name would chart, the murder mystery is often referred to as the ‘Murder on Music Row’. The song wasn’t about the murder. It was about the pop takeover of country music.