HOOTIE & THE BLOWFISH Biography - Music bands & groups


Biography » music bands groups » hootie amp; the blowfish


Name: Hootie & The Blowfish                                                         
Origin: University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA                 
Hootie & the Blowfish are an American rock band, originally formed at the           
University of South Carolina by Darius Rucker, Dean Felber, Jim "Soni" Sonefeld     
and Mark Bryan.                                                                     
Hootie & the Blowfish formed in 1985. The quartet met when they were freshmen at     
the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Mark Bryan heard Darius Rucker         
singing in the showers of the dorm they shared and was impressed by his vocal       
ability. Bryan and Rucker began playing cover tunes as The Wolf Brothers;           
eventually Bryan and Rucker hooked up with Felber, a former high school bandmate     
of Bryan's, and Jim "Soni" Sonefeld as Hootie & The Blowfish.                       
The group independently released two cassette demo EPs in 1991 and 1992. In 1993,   
they pressed 50,000 copies of a self-released EP, Kootchypop, which was named       
after a reference to female genitalia in a stand-up comedy act by What's             
Happening co-star Shirley Hemphill. Their mainstream debut                           
album was Cracked Rear View (1994). It was an instant success, ultimately going     
platinum 16 times in the U.S. and becoming the best-selling album of 1995. The       
album was propelled by four hits, "Hold My Hand", "Let Her Cry", "Only Wanna Be     
With You", and "Time". In 1995, Hootie and the Blowfish and Bob Dylan reached an     
out-of-court settlement for the group's unauthorized use of Dylan's lyrics in       
their song "Only Wanna Be With You." Miami Dolphins' Hall of Fame quarterback       
Dan Marino appeared in the band's video for the song "Only Wanna Be With You",       
along with several other athletes.                                                   
The band won the "Best New Artist" award at the 1996 Grammy Awards. Hootie & the     
Blowfish appeared on MTV Unplugged on the eve of the release of their second         
album, 1996's Fairweather Johnson. Though sales began promisingly, the album         
quickly ran out of steam, having sold four million copies in the U.S. Hootie &       
the Blowfish has since released three more studio albums: Musical Chairs, Hootie     
& the Blowfish, and Looking for Lucky. They also released a B-sides and rarities     
compilation in 2000 entitled Scattered, Smothered and Covered. This album is         
named in tribute of Waffle House, a popular Southern chain of all-night diners.     
Specifically, the title refers to an order of hash browns covered with diced         
onions and melted cheese.                                                           
In 1995, Hootie & the Blowfish contributed the song "Hey Hey What Can I Do" to       
the Encomium tribute album to Led Zeppelin. Their cover of Canadian group 54-40's   
"I Go Blind", originally released on the soundtrack to the TV series Friends in     
1995, did not appear on Cracked Rear View or Fairweather Johnson, but               
nevertheless became a surprise hit at radio in 1997 after three singles from         
Fairweather Johnson had been released. Both "Hey Hey What Can I Do" and "I Go       
Blind" were later released on the collection Scattered, Smothered and Covered.       
The band currently has an extensive touring schedule, including an annual New       
Year's Eve show at the Silverton Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.             
The band's name comes from two of frontman Darius Rucker's college choir friends,   
neither of whom was ever a band member. One, with a round face and glasses, was     
nicknamed Hootie because of his perceived owl-like appearance. The Blowfish,         
also got his nickname from his facial appearance, in his case chubby cheeks.         
Rucker is often mistakenly referred to as Hootie.