Maggie Sajak Spins Wheel for Country

Maggie Sajak is a pre-med student at Princeton University, and her dad is the world-famous Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak. So it makes perfect sense she’d like to go for a career in country music. Right?

For now, it does make a lot of sense. Because what 18-year-old in her right mind wants to put all their eggs in one basket? So Sajak is going after a few different dreams simultaneously.

“Neither one — medicine or country music — is my fall-back plan,” Sajak told me when she called me from her Princeton dorm room. “I just love them both, so I will keep doing both and see where that takes me. I probably won’t go straight to medical school. I want to be able to focus on my music for a while.”

Sajak’s double life involves a combination of normal Ivy League college experiences, a very difficult biology class and playing music when she can. They’re all dreams that she had growing up.

“I’ve always wanted to be a singer,” she said. “But I also always dreamed of being a doctor, and Princeton was my dream school. So I thought I’d lay the ground work for med school while I’m in college.”

It sounds like her famous father set a good example for show biz, too.

“I loved being around the set with him,” she said. “I’ve learned a lot watching him. And even though music is different than a game show, there are a lot of similarities.”

And, God love Pat Sajak for being a country fan. (In the ’70s, he worked as a disc jockey at a country radio station in Nashville before launching his TV career at a local station.)

“Since I was little, my parents listened to a lot of country,” she said. “My dad lived in Nashville for a while, and he appreciates older country. And my mom loves Faith Hill and Martina McBride. I appreciate the older music, and new artists like Luke Bryan and Carrie Underwood. But I really love the folk singer-songwriters as well. All of that has shaped the kind of music I’m making now.”

You can hear Sajak’s current country single “Wild Boy” and a few others (“If I Was Gonna Go,” “Pretty on the Inside” and “First Kiss”) on her website or on iTunes.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.