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Hootie & The Blowfish

Hootie & The Blowfish

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Also Known As: Hootie And The Blowfish Died:
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Hootie & the Blowfish was a genuine grassroots phenomenon, seemingly coming out of nowhere to make the best-selling album of 1995. Though never a critical favorite, their good-natured, easygoing roots-rock provided an alternative to the grungier sounds of the era. Essentially a college band that made good, the group's core members (singer Darius Rucker, guitarist Mark Bryan, bassist Dean Felber and drummer Jim Sonefeld) all attended the University of North Carolina in Columbia. (While many assumed that frontman Rucker was Hootie, the name actually came from friends of the band). Instead of playing clubs, they built a following by playing college parties and frathouse gigs. They were still largely unknown when Atlantic Records signed them, putting them in the studio with producer Don Gehman (of R.E.M. and John Mellencamp fame). Released in late 1994, their debut Cracked Rear View was an immediate hit and spawned three Top Ten singles in "Hold My Hand," "Let Her Cry" and "I Only Wanna Be With You." The closest thing to a downside was when the band was sued for borrowing some Bob Dylan lyrics on the latter tune, but this was settled out of court. The album ultimately sold 16 million copies, making it...

Hootie & the Blowfish was a genuine grassroots phenomenon, seemingly coming out of nowhere to make the best-selling album of 1995. Though never a critical favorite, their good-natured, easygoing roots-rock provided an alternative to the grungier sounds of the era. Essentially a college band that made good, the group's core members (singer Darius Rucker, guitarist Mark Bryan, bassist Dean Felber and drummer Jim Sonefeld) all attended the University of North Carolina in Columbia. (While many assumed that frontman Rucker was Hootie, the name actually came from friends of the band). Instead of playing clubs, they built a following by playing college parties and frathouse gigs. They were still largely unknown when Atlantic Records signed them, putting them in the studio with producer Don Gehman (of R.E.M. and John Mellencamp fame). Released in late 1994, their debut Cracked Rear View was an immediate hit and spawned three Top Ten singles in "Hold My Hand," "Let Her Cry" and "I Only Wanna Be With You." The closest thing to a downside was when the band was sued for borrowing some Bob Dylan lyrics on the latter tune, but this was settled out of court. The album ultimately sold 16 million copies, making it one of the most successful debut albums in history. And the band's fans included David Letterman, who had them on his TV show numerous times; and Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino who appeared in the "I Only Wanna Be With You" video. While Hootie & the Blowfish would never match the sales of their debut, their success continued into the new millennium. Touring behind their second album Fairweather Johnson (which included the hit "Old Man & Me"), they expanded the lineup by adding former dB's leader and R.E.M. sideman Peter Holsapple, who's remain an auxiliary member on keyboards and mandolin. 1998's Musical Chairsalso hit the U.S. Top Ten. The band's activities were slowing down by 2008, when Rucker announced he was beginning a solo career in country music. But his country career proved another major success, and the sound wasn't a complete departure from the country-influenced sound of the Blowfish. His country debut, Learn to Live featured three Number One singles ("Don't Think I Don't Think About It", "It Won't Be Like This for Long", and "Alright"); three further releases including a Christmas album were also successful. Hootie & the Blowfish broke their hiatus to play one of old friend Letterman's farewell shows in 2015. While Rucker continues to concentrate on his solo career, the band was still officially together as of 2016, still with the four members who founded the group at UNC.

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1993:
Released debut album <i>Cracked Rear View</i>
1995:
Released follow-up <i>Fairweather Johnson</i>
:
Popular songs include "Only Wanna Be With You" and "Let Her Cry".

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