Mark Chesnutt Biography

6 September 1963, Beaumont, Texas, USA. His father, Bob Chesnutt, was a singer who, although failing to find success in Nashville in the mid-60s, was popular in Texas; however, he quit music in favour of the used-car business, because he wanted to be with his family. It is, therefore, not surprising to find that, with strong parental encouragement, Mark followed in his father’s footsteps (Bob died in 1990, just before his son achieved the success that had eluded him in his career). Impressed by George Jones (who also grew up in Beaumont), Chesnutt learned to play guitar and drums, and as a 15-year-old was singing in Texas clubs. He later formed his own band and worked all over Texas. He first recorded for Axbar and other independent labels until, in 1990, his recording of ‘Too Cold At Home’ gained him a contract with MCA. Written by Bobby Harden, the song (which, apparently, George Jones had turned down) became a number 3 country chart hit. Chesnutt moved to Nashville and before the year was out, he gained his first number 1 with ‘Brother Jukebox’.

During the next three years, he charted regularly, enjoying further number 1s with ‘I’ll Think Of Something’, ‘It Sure Is Monday’ and ‘Almost Goodbye’. He recorded a duet, ‘Talking To Hank’, with George Jones, which appeared on his second album. Since his father’s death, Chesnutt has become great friends with Jones and, on occasions, worked with his idol on tours. He appears on the videoGeorge Jones - Live In Tennessee. He was honoured with the Country Music Association’s Horizon Award in 1993. In 1994, he added a further number 1 with ‘I Just Wanted You To Know’, and a Top 10 hit with ‘She Dreams’. When the Decca Records label was re-formed, he was one of the biggest names to sign with it, and early in 1995 he proved his point with ‘Goin’ Through The Big D’. He has since released consistently strong albums for the label, Thank God For Believers reuniting him with Mark Wright, producer of his first four albums. I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing featured a surprisingly credible cover version of the Aerosmith title track (written by Diane Warren), which topped the country charts and climbed to number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1999. Lost In The Feeling proved to be Chesnutt’s swansong for MCA Records; ironically it was one of his best albums to date.

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

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