with Emmylou Harris and Carlene Carter
Popular Artist Series
Koussevitzky Music Shed
- Lenox, MA
Born October 7, 1951, in Seymour, Indiana, John Mellencamp fell in love with music at an early age and was gigging in local bars and fronting a soul band by the time he was 14. His professional music career began in earnest in 1976 when MCA Records released his first album, The Chestnut Street Incident. After releasing a few albums, he broke out in 1979 with his first hit, "I Need A Lover." In 1982 his fifth album, American Fool, was the year's best-selling album on the strength of two huge hits, "Hurts So Good" and the number 1 single "Jack & Diane." The albums that followed in the '80s, Uh-Huh, Scarecrow, Lonesome Jubilee, and Big Daddy, were released under the name John Cougar Mellencamp. Hit singles during this period included "Crumblin Down," "The Authority Song," "Small Town," "Rain On The Scarecrow," "Lonely Ol Night," ""R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A.," "Paper In Fire," "Check It Out," "Cherry Bomb," "Pop Singer," and "Jackie Brown." By the early 1990s "Cougar" was finally gone from John's name and a string of successful albums as John Mellencamp-Whenever We Wanted, Human Wheels and Dance Naked (including the number 2 single "Wild Night")-were released. In 1991 John made his film debut, starring in and directing Falling From Grace, a modest box office success that was well received by critics. John suffered a mild heart attack while touring in 1994 in support of Dance Naked. This forced him to take a break from his music career, but he returned strong in 1996 and released Mr. Happy Go Lucky, which featured the hit "Key West Intermezzo" (I Saw You First). Healthier and happier, he returned to touring in 1997 and continued to write and record frequently. Releases included 1998's John Mellencamp, 1999's Rough Harvest, 2001's Cuttin Heads, and 2003's Trouble No More. Hit singles during that time ranged from "Your Life Is Now" to "I'm Not Running Anymore" to "Peaceful World." John continued to tour throughout 1999, 2001, 2002, 2005, and 2006.