Thursday, 20 October 2022 01:36


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SW small Logo  I have wondered for a couple years if someone would ask about Mindy McCready and her story. This week, Jennifer did, and yes she has a sad and tragic story.  In my 42 years of country radio, this is one of the toughest ones for many reasons. 

Her First Single - Much Loved By Fans


MM was from Ft. Myers, Florida and moved to Nashville at 18 with a dynamic almost angelic voice many thought, a contemporary look with a huge smile, and a sassy attitude that was right on time for early to mid 90's country.  She had grown up singing in church and graduated high school early at 16 and was on her way.  In just three years she signed a record deal and had her debut album on the charts in 1996, Ten Thousand Angels.  Keep in mind this was way before the real internet and YouTube and all that.  I was doing the morning show at WPCV in Lakeland, Florida at the time, and there was a tremendous phone buzz about her debut song, the title song of the album, long before we were playing it.  Fans had known of her and were excited about hearing her music on the radio.   She was a hero to them at just 21 years old.

Her Only Number One - A Smash!


She rallied a very young fan base and there was a big demand to hear her debut song.  Sure we played it as did everyone else, and it was big for her going to number 6 on the charts.  But there was something there. Something magnetic that was drawing.  She was right on time debuting in 1996 in country and seemed to initially fit right in. Women in the 1990's in country had a GREAT run. Shania, Terri Clark, Pam Tillis, Lorrie Morgan, Patty Loveless, Trisha Yearwood, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Faith Hill, LeAnn Rimes, JoDee Messina, Suzy Bogguss, Lee Ann Womack, Martina McBride , Holly Dunn and others.  And MM seemed to be the next in a line of wildly popular women with great music, popularity, image and attitude.  She was award nominated in 1997, but lost to Deana Carter at the ACM's, who had nothing short of an incedible year.

With Richie McDonald Of Lonestar


Her second song, Guys Do It All The Time was a smash number one with a driving beat, fantastic guitar riff, and a slick video. Then two more singles came from the first album that sold over 2 million, and we had a new star.  Her second album in 1997 was a success selling close to a million copies. In 1999 she released a third album that was no success at all, dropped from her record label and then making two more albums later with virtually no commerical success, it was now the 2000's.  What had sadly happened, MM was now becoming more famous for things far outside of any kind of music.

Big Favorite As Well


For a number of years, MM found herself in many very tough legal and personal crisis situations.  Substance abuse was at the forefront. She appeared on numerous reality TV shows were she discussed her struggle with drugs of many kinds. She was engaged to actor Dean Cain but that ended.  There were numerous other romantic relationships as well including an NHL player, various actors and others.  Her life had become a series of sad errors with substance abuse, and domestic abuse as the ongoing problems.  The list of troubles is very long and went on for very long.

Great Song - Underrated


You can Google the exact details of many of these really terrible situations, they are no secret.  But the truth is, all of this along with a career that faded all too quickly lead to the worst of ends, with Mindy McCready taking her own life in 2013.  She was only 37 years old.  It was a very sad day for us all.  Even tough it had been quite a while since any real success for her, we were all pulling for her, as we were all watching her struggles in the news and on TV.

Mindy McCready for me, is one of the real tragic stories of my long career.  Fans liked her, young listeners really liked her, she was going to the top, and somehow it all just went wrong.  Hers is a very tough story to tell, as there is no shortage of sad.  Read the comments on the videos here.  She was very influential to many new listeners who were in their teens when she hit the charts. 

I was initially like a lot of people feeling like she was on her way to join the others and maybe surpass many of them in the 1990's as a very successful artist singing songs that we would all play for a long time.  I was very impressed with the entirety of that first album especially, as it had all the earmarks as a first class project introducing an incredible new artist.

It's very sad for many involved, and for many loyal fans.  But for a moment that was far too short and fleeting Malinda Gayle McCready  - was on top.

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Read 309 times Last modified on Thursday, 20 October 2022 04:52