It all started in…
March of 1989, Evergreen Record's critically-acclaimed newcomer, Sammy Sadler had just spent 7 weeks in the Indie Chart's Top-10, holding at #2 position for several weeks, and breaking into the Billboard Top-50 with his third charted single, "Tell It Like It Is." His debut album and stardom were on the horizon when shots rang out.
Sadler was caught up in the assassination of his friend, Cash Box magazine's chart manager, Kevin Hughes and a payola scandal that would bring down the magazine and rock the music industry. Despite suffering a near-fatal gunshot wound, Sadler remained under suspicion until the murder was solved 13 years later.
In 2004, Sadler released Hard on the Heart on the Tri label. The title track placed in the top-10 on the Texas Music Chart and went No. 1 in Europe for seven weeks. In 2009, Sadler released Heart Shaped Like Texas on Audium Records, which transitioned to Koch Records and eventually sold to E1 Music. Despite rave reviews for singles "I'll Always Have Denver," and "No Place to Land," E1 Music ultimately closed bringing Sadler's label recording career to an end.
As an outlet for his talent and for his fans, Sadler put together the "Taking the Country Back Tour"--the first rendition with Doug Stone in 2012 and another lasting from 2015-2016 with Ken Mellons and Jeff Carson. The tour produced over 200 show dates.
In 2013, record promoter Chuck Dixon, who was suspected of ordering the hit against Hughes, was reported to have died mysteriously in 2013, and triggerman Richard D'Antonio would die in prison in 2014. The passing of both provided a newly found confidence to Sadler, who had spent years looking over his shoulder as a result of the incident.
In October of 2018, Sadler signed with Indigo River Publishing to release his book recounting his story about the famous murder and is currently in the studio working on a new album--both will be released in 2019. Sammy's story is far from over.