FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Franklin community is remembering Jeff Carson as a chart-topping country star and a servant to his neighbors.
The musician joined the Franklin Police Department in 2009 after 14 charted Billboard singles and winning Video of the Year from the Academy of Country Music.
Carson passed away Saturday from a heart attack at Williamson County Medical Center.
Just one week before his death, News 2 spoke with Carson who was performing at a benefit concert to raise funds for a fellow police officer battling severe COVID.
The 58-year-old talked to News 2 about the power of music he hoped to share that evening.
“Everyone has a song, I know I do, if I hear a song even from the 70s it instantly takes me back to someplace, somewhere, sometime. It’s like the smell of a hayfield sometimes will take me back to high school. It’s the same way with a song. I think Trisha Yearwood had a song out, ‘The Song Remembers When.’ Everyone can think back to a song that takes them back to a certain time. It’s very important for people to have that ability to listen to music and go to places,” Carson said.
Performing alongside Carson was retired Franklin officer Mike Martinez. The two both joined the force in their 40s and shared a love of music.
“If you were to meet Jeff and not know anything about music and all of his success, he would never probably tell you because he was just a humble guy. But he was so accomplished as a person, as a musician, as a police officer,” Martinez recalled.
Martinez recently moved to Vermont and flew back to Franklin for the event. He didn’t realize it would be the last time they would perform alongside each other.
“Jeff’s one of my dear friends and it was just fun; it was like I was back there with a good buddy just kicking around some tunes and having a good time,” he said.
Martinez’s last memory of Carson will be getting to see him do what he loved – playing music and helping a brother in need.
“If you care about someone [and] you love them, tell them because tomorrow’s not guaranteed. And be a good person,” Martinez said.
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News 2 also reached out to the Fraternal Order of Police in Franklin. President Andy Green said Carson recently rejoined Lodge 41.
“He was a great guy and I truly enjoyed working with him. He’ll be sorely missed,” Green said in a statement.
Carson leaves behind a wife, a son, his mother, and multiple siblings.