1,300 turn out for Chesnutt at North High

April 26, 1997


Staff Writer

More than 1,300 people packed North Hagerstown High School's auditorium Friday night to listen to the country music of Mark Chesnutt.

Whether the baritone's grass-roots country music got them in the mood for dancing or touched their souls with lyrics close to home, local fans were prepared for a good time.

"He sings about things in real life," said Charlie Myers, 41, of Clear Spring.

Chesnutt's song "Wouldn't Hurt to Have Wings" - about getting over failed relationships - helped Myers recover from a breakup last year.


Now Myers wants to return the favor. He's written a song for Chesnutt entitled "You Only Love Me When We Drink."

"I want to have him do it because I like his work," said Myers, who met Chesnutt last year at the South West Fest, a country music festival.

Myers attended Friday's concert with his daughter, Kayla, 5, and friend, Bill Hines.

Hines, 30, of Hagerstown, said he gave up on rock 'n' roll for country music.

Chesnutt kicked off the concert with "Bubba Shot the Jukebox" and it wasn't long before he sang Bev Elliott's favorite - "Goin' Through the Big D."

While the song is about divorce, it's catchy and upbeat, said Elliott, 41, of Greencastle, Pa. Elliott attended the concert with her mother, Helen Stoops, 71, of Chambersburg, Pa.

Like Elliott, Hagerstown resident Jennifer Johnson said Chesnutt's music gets her in the mood to dance, despite the fact that Johnson said she doesn't dance.

Johnson, 20, won tickets to the concert for her and her boyfriend, Brad Rogers, 25, through WAYZ 101.5 by throwing darts at paper compact discs at Valley Mall on Monday. Behind each disc was a prize.

Chesnutt, who was a presenter at the Academy of Country Music Awards on Wednesday night, won the Country Music Association's Horizon Award in 1993.

His number one songs include "Brother Jukebox," "Gonna Get a Life," "Almost Goodbye" and "She Dreams."

Jason Kabler and his wife, Nichole, came to see Chesnutt in concert after Kabler interviewed him a few years ago on the syndicated "Hit Country Video" television show, he said.

"This guy's the biggest nut you'd ever want to meet," said Kabler, 22, of Greencastle. Chesnutt created some great blooper scenes for the show, including flubbing his lines occasionally.

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