Karen Staley Biography

Weirton, Virginia, USA. Staley is a singer-songwriter whose credits include a number of songs for Faith Hill (‘Take Me As I Am’ and ‘Let’s Go To Vegas’), Patty Loveless and Tracy Byrd (‘Keeper Of The Stars’). Raised in Georgetown, Pennsylvania, Staley claims to have been attracted to a career in music through the boredom she endured at the Methodist church meetings her parents took her to. Instead she chose to study John Wesley’s Methodist hymnals, and took him as her chief inspiration when she began to write songs. However, her singing then took a back seat to employment at the Burlington Children’s Home for the underprivileged in the Appalachian mountains. After college she secured a contract with a contemporary Christian record label in Los Angeles, but the company went bankrupt before she released any records. Undeterred, she won the Wheeling Jamboree talent competition, resulting in support dates with Roy Clark and the Judds. In October 1984, she relocated to Nashville. Kathy Mattea recommended her to Bob Doyle at ASCAP, later Garth Brooks’ manager, who introduced her to various publishers. Within a month she had a staff publishing deal. Her first big hits came with Patty Loveless - ‘Lonely Days, Lonely Nights’ and ‘Wicked Ways’. After establishing herself as a songwriter she signed with MCA Records, but lost her way when the label was taken over by Universal. She moved to Warner Brothers Records instead, and received rave reviews for her 1998 debut for the label, Fearless.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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