Jeff Carson, country music star turned police officer, dead at 58

David J. Holcomb


Country music singer and songwriter Jeff Carson, who scored hits with “Not On Your Love” and “The Car” before becoming a police officer, has died in Tennessee, his publicist said. Carson was 58.

Obit-Jeff Carson
Jeff Carson poses backstage at the 31st Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, April 24, 1996 in Universal City, Calif. 

Mark J. Terrill / AP

Carson died of a heart attack at a hospital in Franklin, said Jeremy Westby of 2911 Media.

Carson was born Jeffrey Lee Herndon in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1963, Westby said in a news release. Carson sang in church and formed a band in Rogers, Arkansas, before moving to Branson, Missouri, where he wrote songs and played locally, the news release said.

Carson moved to Nashville and recorded demos for Tracy Lawrence, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and other country stars.

Carson received a recording contract at Curb Records in 1995 and released a single, “Yeah Buddy.” He then recorded the singles “Not On Your Love” and “The Car,” which won Carson his first Academy of Country Music award for video of the year.

Carson’s career had 14 singles on the Billboard chart in his career, Westby said.

Carson retired from music to become a police officer in Franklin, where he remained on the police force.

Carson returned to music in 2019 and released a previously recorded song, “God Save The World.”

Carson had been in the studio with Buddy Hyatt recording an album to be released later this year with duets with Michael Ray, Darryl Worley and others, Westby said.

Singer Bryan White said on Twitter that he was saddened to hear of his friend’s death.

“He was a tremendous singer and one of the kindest people I’ve ever met … I’ll see you on the good side buddy,” White said.

On Twitter, the Franklin Police Department thanked Carson for his “life of service & song” and said Carson “changed everyone he met, all of us, for the better!”

“It’s hard to believe he’s gone,” the department said on Twitter, along with a video of “God Save The World.”

The department also posted a music video starring Carson, in which the former country star “shared his talent to help us make our non-emergency number pretty unforgettable.”


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