New Way Out

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  • Randy Sharp penned this tune, which was turned into a Top 20 Country hit when it was released by Karen Brooks in 1982. His start in the industry was a little shaky - which is par for the songwriting circuit. "There were several songs in the early '70s that made it on records," Randy tells us. "And they were all big victories for me at the time. But a lot of it was in the pop world. Blood, Sweat and Tears cut one of my songs, and Delaney Bramlett from Delaney and Bonnie cut a lot of my songs. Jennifer Warnes cut one of my songs, ("Could It Be Love") it was a pretty big pop hit. But at the same time, people like Ray Stevens and Marty Robbins and Jerry Reed were cutting my songs out of Nashville. And none of them were big hits. The Jennifer Warnes record was a pretty big hit, but that wasn't 'til the late '70s.

    But this was the song that really found a home and introduced me to a much bigger world. And Karen in the early '80s was the ACM Horizon Award winner in country music for this song. And I was out here in L.A., she was living in Nashville, and a friend played her a bunch of my stuff, and she was about to record a record for Warner Brothers, picked one of my songs, and asked me to join her in working on it out here in L.A. with Brian Hern, who was Emmylou Harris's producer at the time. So I came in and started working with her quite a bit. But this song, even though it wasn't a big hit all over the country, it was a real big hit in Nashville, in that small circle of the hardcore country folks.

    That got me an invitation to write for Warner Brothers and to start traveling back and forth to Nashville. And that started me doing that, which I continued to do all these years. But it brought me to the attention of a lot of kind of the old guard country people, because it has that kind of sound. Sounds like something probably written in the '50s, which is an era of music I really like. The crazy Willie Nelson part of the catalogue, that old-style Patsy Cline, Jim Reeves kind of stuff. And this song sort of had that. So it got the attention of a lot of those people. And so I was introduced to that crowd pretty quickly, and made to feel very welcome, and continued to work with a lot of those people for a lot of years." (Read more in our interview with Randy Sharp.)


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