Mark Chesnutt – 15 Impressive Facts You Didn’t Know
Mark Nelson Chesnutt dropped out of school in the 11th grade to start singing in clubs around his home in Southeast Texas. When he was 17 his dad took him to Nashville to start recording and over the next 10 years he recorded songs for small independent labels and singing as a member of the house band in Cutters, a nightclub in Beaumont.
He signed to MCA Records Nashville in 1990 and released his debut album “Too Cold At Home” that same year. Since then Mark has become a well known country music artist and has released a total of 26 albums and 48 singles.
If you are a Mark Chesnutt fan, keep reading because we have found 15 impressive facts about Mark that you didn’t know.
His First Public Performance Was At School
Mark’s first public performance was a solo for his junior high school choir. While in school he formed a country band encouraged by his father. He quit school in the 11th grade to pursue a career in country music.
He Had A Famous Country Singer As A Fan
The liner notes on Mark’s debut album “Too Cold At Home” read “This boy from Beaumont is the real deal” and were written by fellow Beaumont country music singer George Jones. That album peaked at number 2 on the country music charts.
He Remains True To His Country Roots
Mark has said in the past that he would “rather sell 100,000 albums of traditional country music than 6 million of some crap I wasn’t happy with”. Which was what he was pressured to do during the final days of his contracts at Decca and MCA. The labels wanted popular songs which would appeal to a wider audience regardless of genre or sound.
Mark has also stated that he “would rather play honky-tonks the rest of my life for $500 a week than be something I’m not”.
He Named One Of His Children After Waylon Jennings
When Mark was recording “Rainy Day Woman” with Waylon Jennings, Waylon made a joke that maybe Mark should name the child his pregnant wife was carrying after him. Although Waylon was joking, the couple decided to name their son Waylon anyway.
He Was Featured In An Ad-Campaign For Snacks
In 1993 Mark was featured in an ad-campaign for Frito-Lay. He sang their tagline “I know what I like and I like Fritos”. The company produces chip based snacks and is a subsidiary of Pepsico.
He Formed His Own Recording Label
In 2012 Mark formed his own record label “Nada Dinero” and his first release through the label was a live album entitled “Live From The Big D” which was recorded in Dallas, Texas.
He Was Invited To Open George Jones’s Final Farewell Show
George Jones invited Mark to open the show for him at George’s final farewell show at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. Sadly George Jones died before the show could go ahead. So Mark and other country artists held a tribute show in honour of George Jones instead.
He Released An Album Of Covers Of Outlaw Country Songs
In 2010, Mark released the album “Outlaw” which was a collection of songs originally sung by Outlaw Country artists including Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Hank Williams Jr., Jerry Jeff Walker, Billy Joe Shaver and David Allan Coe. Mark toured with Tracy Lawrence and Richie McDonald (Lonestar) to support the album.
He Recorded A Duet With George Jones
On Mark’s second album, “Long Necks And Short Stories” which was released in 1992, he sang a duet with George Jones entitled “Talking To Hank”.
He Memorised Whole Albums By His Favourite Singers
When Mark was growing up, he used to listen to his dad’s record collection and memorised whole albums of his favourite singers. Albums by artists including Merle Haggard and George Jones are all still fondly remembered by Mark Chesnutt, “I would rather listen to any old cryin’-in-your-beer George Jones or Merle Haggard song than anything” Mark said.
He Used To Be A Karate Teacher
From the age of 11, Mark was a big fan of Karate. He studied the martial art right up until he was around 22, but by then he was teaching it rather than practising it because he was singing during the evenings and couldn’t get to classes.
He Covered An Aerosmith Song
Mark covered “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”, the Aerosmith hit song in 1998. The single spent 4 weeks at number 1 in the US charts. He said he never wanted to do the song, he was talked into it by his record company.
Steven Tyler Gave Him A Bear Hug
Mark had a backstage pass at an Aerosmith concert in Nashville and he was talking to the band’s manager when Steven Tyler, Aerosmith’s vocalist, walked in singing “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”. Mark said he stood up to shake Steven’s hand and Steven grabbed him in a bear hug. They talked for about 30 minutes.
He Toured For Almost 12 Months A Year For 30 years
Mark is one of the hardest working music artists of any genre. He has worked for 30 years without hardly any time off at all. On top of which he has to drive around 1 ½ hours to get on a plane to pick up his tour bus. That’s because he lives in Beaumont, Texas and the tour bus is based in Nashville, Tennessee.
He Was One Of The Most Played Country Artists Of The 1990s
Mark Chesnutt was one of the most played country artists of the 1990s and has sold in excess of 12 million albums worldwide.
Do You Know Any More?
That’s our 15 impressive facts you didn’t know about Mark Chesnutt, do you know any more? Please share them with us in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Mark Chesnutt’s middle name is Nelson.
The name of Mark Chesnutt’s debut album for a major label is “Too Cold At Home”.
George Jones wrote “this boy from Beaumont is the real deal” on the liner notes for Mark’s debut album “Too Cold At Home”.
Waylon Jennings. The story goes that when Mark’s wife was expecting a child at the same time that Mark was recording a duet with Waylon Jennings, Waylon jokingly suggested they should name the baby after him. Once the baby was born he was given the name, Waylon.
The Mark Chesnutt song that contains the lines “They told him don’t you play dumb with us son, You know damn well what the charge is” is “Bubba Shot The Jukebox”.
Mark Chesnutt never did a duet with George Strait, but he did record “Talking To Hank” as a duet with George Jones.
The Mark Chesnutt song that contains the lines “While I was hunting wild turkey and sippin’ on Jim Beam, I walked up on something like I’ve never seen” is “Talking To Hank”.
Mark Chesnutt formed the record label Nada Dinero.
Mark Chesnutt used to teach Karate, he was a student of this martial art for many years and only started teaching because he was busy singing during most evenings.
The Aerosmith song that was covered by Mark Chesnutt is “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”. Mark’s version spent 4 weeks at the top of the charts.
Mark Chesnutt sang the tagline for Frito-Lay back in 1993.
Mark Chesnutt was born in Beaumont, Texas, USA on the 6th of September 1963.
The Mark Chesnutt song that contains the lines “Well that baseball game on TV, takes me back to when I was a kid” is “Too Cold At Home”.
Mark Chesnutt did play drums when he was a child but his dad encouraged him to become a singer instead.
The famous country singer that Mark Chesnutt dueted with on the song “Rainy Day Woman” was Waylon Jennings.
The Mark Chesnutt song that contains the lines “I go down to that same old cafe, where I try to wash my troubles away” is “Brother Jukebox” which was the second single from his debut album “Too Cold At Home”.