Hootie & the Blowfish
are an American rock
band that enjoyed widespread popularity in
the second half of the 1990s. They were originally formed in 1986 at the
South Carolina by Darius Rucker, Dean
Felber, Jim Sonefeld, and Mark Bryan.
The band has recorded seven
studio albums to date, and has charted sixteen singles on various
charts. Their 1994 debut album, Cracked Rear View
, is one of the best
selling albums of all time, going platinum sixteen times.
Hootie & the Blowfish formed in 1986. 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 collaborated with Felber, a
former high school bandmate of Bryan's, and Jim "Soni" Sonefeld as
Hootie & the Blowfish.
Brantley Smith was the original drummer for the band. He left the
group to pursue music ministry, but he has made scattered guest
appearances with the band (he played cello on their MTV Unplugged
performance in 1996 and sat in on drums with the band at Gruene
Hall in Gruene, TX, on June 27, 2008).
The group independently released two cassette demo EP
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
mainstream debut album was Cracked
(1994). It was an instant success, ultimately
16 times in the
U.S. and becoming the best-selling album of 1995. The album was
propelled by four hits, "Hold My Hand
(U.S. #10), "Let Her Cry
" (U.S. #9),
"Only Wanna Be With You
(U.S. #6), and "Time" (U.S. #14). 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
appeared in the band's video
for the song "Only Wanna Be With You", along with several other
The band won the "Best New Artist" award at the 1996 Grammy Awards
. Hootie & the Blowfish
appeared on MTV Unplugged
the eve of the release of their second album, 1996's Fairweather Johnson
. Though sales
began promisingly, and it contained the hit single "Old Man and Me"
(U.S. #13), 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
, Hootie & the
, and Looking for
. They also released a B-sides
and rarities compilation in 2000 entitled Scattered, Smothered and
. 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
scattered on the grill,
smothered with diced onions
and covered with
In 1995, Hootie & the Blowfish contributed the song "Hey Hey What Can I Do
" to the
tribute album to
. 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
, but nevertheless became a surprise
hit at radio in 1997 after three singles from Fairweather
had been released. Both "Hey Hey What Can I Do" and "I
Go Blind" were later released on the collection Scattered,
Smothered and Covered
Hootie and the Blowfish started their own record label, Breaking
Records, in 1996 as a subsidiary of Atlantic. They had planned to
focus on signing local Carolina acts. Edwin
and Cravin' Melon
associated with the label at one point, but did not release any
material on it. The Meat Puppets
Jump, Little Children
released one album each on
Breaking Records. The label folded in 2000.
Hootie covered the 1968 Orpheus hit "Can't Find the Time" in 2001
for the soundtrack of the Jim Carrey movie " Me, Myself and Irene".
It was a crowd favorite after the movie was released. Orpheus
creator and the song's writer Bruce Arnold traded verses with
Darius on several occasions when the band played live on the west
The band currently has an extensive touring schedule, including an
annual New Year's Eve show at the Silverton Hotel and Casino
. In 2008, the
band started releasing their concerts as downloads through trueAnthem
In 2009, Hootie and the Blowfish performed live in a ballet which
chronicled their rise and success in the 1990s.
On August 27, 2008, frontman Darius
announced in an AOL Sessions
interview that Hootie and the Blowfish would be splitting so Rucker
could pursue his solo career as a country music performer. Although
the band will no longer be recording or touring, Rucker confirmed
they will still perform their scheduled charity concerts stating,
"We have four charity gigs every year and we will still do them,
but we will not do a record or tour." Rucker also said that the
split will last "for five or six years, or until I record three or
four country albums". He later amended his statement, saying "To be
honest with you, we're not even split up right now, and we're not
really thinking about splitting up." To acknowledge the altered
state of the band, the band will be known as "Hootie and/or the
Blowfish" during live performances.
recorded a solo album, Learn to
Live, for Capitol Records.
It includes the singles "Don't Think I Don't Think
", "It Won't
Be Like This for Long
" and "Alright
", all three of which
have reached Number One on the U.S. Hot Country Songs
The band's name comes from two of Darius
's college choir friends, neither of whom was ever a band
member. One, with a round face and glasses, was nicknamed
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.
Hootie & The Blowfish have become known not only for their
music, but also for their charity work. The entire band and crew
traveled to New Orleans for five days of building houses in
, on October
16-20, 2006. The band's members are avid golfers
, and have sponsored the annual spring Monday
After the Masters Celebrity Pro-Am Golf Tournament, benefiting
local charities, since 1995.
Hootie and the Blowfish reunited to do a special show at Incirlik
Air base in Turkey on 18 October 2008, to show their support for
- Touring members:
||Peak chart positions
||"Hold My Hand"
||Cracked Rear View
||"Let Her Cry"
|"Only Wanna Be
|"Hey Hey What Can
Tribute to Led Zeppelin
||"Old Man & Me"
||"I Go Blind"
||"I Will Wait"
||Hootie & the Blowfish
||The Best of Hootie & the
||Looking for Lucky
||"Get Out of My Mind"
the single failed to chart or not released
- Rock Clock, November 3. VH1.com. Accessed May
- Hootie and the Blowfish. A Series of Short Trips
(DVD). Atlantic, 1996.
- Hootie & the Blowfish like songs "covered".
Cnn.com Archive, November 3, 2000. Accessed February 5, 2007.
- Hootie & the Blowfish on trueAnthem
- Believe It or Not, Here's the Hootie Ballet.
Free Times (Columbia, SC), March 31, 2009, accessed April 17,
- Darius Rucker - Hootie Leaves the Blowfish
- Hootie and the Blowfish to Return in 2009.
Alternative Addiction, December 20, 2008.
- Hootie Ya Love. Rolling Stone, September 15,
1998. Accessed February 5, 2007.
- Hootie & The Blowfish join Habitat for Humanity
in New Orleans build Feature Story
& The Blowfish Golf Tournament Page
- Hootie & the Blowfish album
- Hootie and Blowfish-related websites
- Band member sites