Three chords and the truth has taken Sara Evans from the Missouri backwoods to becoming one of the most popular female country music singers over the past quarter century.

George Jones hired Evans to open for him at the Ryman Auditorium after hearing her sing live on WSM Radio from the Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree, which follows the Grand Ole Opry every Saturday night.

A few months later, she sang original tune “Three Chords And The Truth” on The Nashville Network. Her emotionally charged honky tonk vocals left program host Jones mesmerized as he prophetically stated, “You gonna be big. You gonna be real big.”

A former Female Vocalist of the Year for the Academy of Country Music, Evans' impressive list of chart-topping hits includes: “Suds In The Bucket,” “Born To Fly,” “A Little Bit Stronger,” “A Real Fine Place To Start” and “No Place That Far.”

Traditional in her formative years, Evans has progressively evolved into a more contemporary artist throughout her career. She has written three books, is author of the popular blog “A Real Fine Place,” and released new album “Words” in July on her new Born To Fly Records.

Evans will headline the 61st Lions Club/WPSD Local 6 Telethon of Stars Celebration concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at The Carson Center in Paducah. Singer/songwriter Adam Hambrick will be the opening act.

Admission prices are $40, $30 and $20. Tickets can be purchased at For additional information, call the box office at 270-450-4444.

Started in 1957, the telethon has raised more than $25 million to support rehabilitation programs for children with special needs in the immediate four-state region.

The 46-year-old Evans is the oldest of seven children. She was born in Boonville and raised on a farm near New Franklin, Missouri. She started singing in the family band when she was 5. At 16, she started a two-year gig in a nightclub near Columbia.

Evans moved to Nashville in 1991, got sidetracked for four years when she migrated to Oregon with musician and future husband Craig Schelske. Returning to Music City in 1995, legendary songwriter Harlan Howard helped her secure a record deal with RCA.

Evans has released eight studio albums and 31 singles, including latest effort “Marquee Sign.”

Forced to drop out of “Dancing With The Stars” in 2006 because of her crumbling relationship and eventual divorce from Schelske, Evans got remarried in 2008 to former Alabama quarterback Jay Barker. They have seven children from previous marriages and now live just outside of Birmingham.

The Carson Center will be buzzing with major talent for the remainder of the year. The Wednesday ZZ Top concert is sold out. Other upcoming shows include: Beach Boys, Oct. 29.; Rodney Carrington, Nov. 17; The Oak Ridge Boys, Nov. 25; and Martina McBride, Nov. 30.

VINCE HOFFARD can be reached at 618-658-9095 or


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