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Paulette Carlson

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Singer/songwriter/guitarist Paulette Carlson was best known as a vocalist with the group Highway 101. Born and raised in rural Minnesota, she learned the guitar during her teens and grew up listening to her father's country music. After graduation, Carlson worked in several Minnesota country bands, winning a large local following. Soon, she headed for Nashville, where she made a name for herself as a staff writer with the Oak Ridge Boys' Silverline/Goldmine music publishing companies. Both Gail Davies and Tammy Wynette, among others, recorded her songs. After a few years of successful songwriting, Carlson signed a recording contract in the early 1980s. Although her first singles -- "You Gotta Get to My Heart (Before You Lay a Hand on Me)," "I'd Say Yes," and "Can You Fool" -- won critical acclaim and some chart success in 1983, they were only minor hits, and the disappointed Carlson went back to Minnesota in 1985, joining the newly formed Highway 101 the next year. She and the band went on to score numerous number one singles and a gold album before Carlson left in 1991 to again promote her solo career. Her first album, 1992's Love Goes On, contained the Top 20 hit, "I'll Start with You."

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