FISHER — Country music performer Mark Chesnutt will headline the 2019 Fisher Community Fair with Drew Baldridge and Feudin’ Hillbillys on July 12.
Chesnutt has 14 No. 1 hits, 23 top 10 singles, four platinum albums and five gold records.
Chesnutt enjoys performing.
“It’s the music that has kept me around this long,” he said.
Chesnutt got his start in the honky-tonks of Beaumont, Texas, learning from his father, Bob Chesnutt, a singer, record collector and major fan of classic country music.
The younger Chesnutt first played drums as a child, but his father convinced him to give up the drums, and he chose to focus on singing. He dropped out of school in the 11th grade to begin playing in clubs around southeast Texas.
Playing alongside his dad, one set at a time, Mark embraced his father’s influence and began making a name for himself. He sang numerous cover songs to develop his rapport and authentic country style.
When Chesnutt turned 17, his father began to take him to Nashville to record.
He recorded on small regional labels for the next 10 years while he was the house band for the Beaumont nightclub Cutters. He had released eight singles by the late 1980s. They were released together as an album titled “Doing My Country Thing.”
The album was heard by record producer Tony Brown, who recommended him to songwriter, session music and record producer Mark Wright, who helped Chesnutt sign with MCA Records Nashville in 1990.
Chesnutt’s musical style draws mainly from honky-tonk and nontraditional country. He is frequently compared stylistically to fellow Beaumont country singer George Jones.
Chicago Tribune writer Jack Hurst described Chesnutt’s vocal style by saying he has “a comely, smooth baritone and a supple way of moving through his vocal range” and a friendly foghorn” with “earnestness.”
Chesnutt has cited Merle Haggard, Hank Williams and Elvis Presley as major influences.
Tickets for the concert are on sale now and are available at www.fisherfair.com.
The 78th Fisher Community Fair will run July 9-13.