8 May 1963, Greenwood, South Carolina, USA. Raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Harling took an early interest in music, teaching himself to play drums and later becoming proficient on other instruments, including bass, trumpet and saxophones. During his school years he played in various bands and then tried making his way as a professional musician, playing in rock bands, mainly in Florida. This proved to be difficult and even a spell living in Nashville did not give his career a boost. Returning to Chattanooga he played and sang in local clubs, meanwhile meeting his future wife and also writing music. In 1996, he was hired by MCA where he worked as a songwriter, but almost at once was offered a recording contract.
Harlings compositions, which blend established country concepts with a contemporary sound, proved attractive to younger audiences without alienating the more traditionally minded. His singing voice is smoothly fluid and is...