Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hootie and the Monument

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/16/2010 No comments
Legendary rock band Hootie & The Blowfish is getting immortalized in steel and granite in Columbia next month. The best-selling band to ever come out of South Carolina (probably both Carolinas), who formed in the 1980s when all four members were students at my alma mater, the University of South Carolina (Go Gamecocks!), will forever be known for their 1994 debut album, Cracked Rear View, which has sold 16 million copies.

All four members of the band--Darius Rucker, Dean Felber, Jim Sonefeld, and Mark Bryan--will be present Thursday, October 21 when a stainless steel and black granite piece of public art, 20 feet long, 10 feet wide, and 12 to 14 feet tall, is unveiled in their honor at the corner of Santee Avenue and Harden Street in Five Points, a popular nightlife section of Columbia within waking distance of USC's campus. That part of Santee Avenue will be renamed Hootie Boulevard. The unveiling event, scheduled for 4-11 p.m., will include a tribute concert featuring several bands, some who will perform Hootie & The Blowfish covers.

The band doesn't record together anymore and doesn't tour much other than performing several charity concerts a year, which they've always made time for. Frontman Rucker, who many people mistakenly refer to as Hootie, released a solo country album in 2008, which went platinum, led by three number one singles on the Billboard country music chart. Rucker, who's no stranger to Charlotte (he's a member of The Sunset Club, where his engraved humidor is among the notable ones), is releasing a new album next month, titled Charleston, SC 1966.


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