Hootie & the Blowfish: Behind the Music #178

Season 1 Ep 1786/23/2002

They were four college buddies who set out with a simple plan: to play music and have fun. But in 1995, Hootie and the Blowfish's infectious blend of rock, country and R&B struck a chord with listeners who were seeking a reprieve from the somber whinings of grunge. They became the alternative to alternative and sold an amazing 16 million copies of their debut album Cracked Rear View. It remains the 11th best selling record of all time. But Hootie's huge success unleashed a wicked critical backlash and within 2 years they had become a national punchline.No one can say Darius Rucker, Dean Felber, Mark Bryan, and Jim "Soni" Sonefeld didn't pay their dues. They met at the University of South Carolina and struggled for 8 years, first playing cover tunes at frat parties, then graduating to local clubs and bars, finally touring through the east coast and deep south. Together they faced hardships of life on the road including blatant racism and the untimely death of Darius Rucker's mother, who had been a muse to the band.Behind the Music focuses on the emotional turning points in lead singer Darius Rucker's life which became the inspiration for many of Hootie's hit songs. Hootie and the Blowfish was one of the most unlikely success stories of the '90s. Today as they attempt to make a comeback they remain four best friends whose only goal in life is to play good music together and make people happy.