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Byline: DEVIN GRANT
It's the dream of every aspiring rock band: Get signed to a major label, release your first album, and watch as it shoots to the top of the charts, selling millions of copies. South Carolina's own Hootie & the Blowfish did just that in 1994, when the band released "Cracked Rear View," the group's major label debut from Atlantic Records.
While Lowcountry music fans had long known about the talents of guitarist and singer Darius Rucker, guitarist Mark Bryan, bassist Dean Felber and drummer Jim "Soni" Sonefeld, the rest of the world quickly got up to speed, thanks to radio hits such as "Hold My Hand" and "Only Wanna Be With You." That Hootie & the Blowfish debut, which will mark its 10-year anniversary next year, has sold more than 16 million copies to date and is tied with Boston's self-titled debut and Alanis Morissette's "Jagged Little Pill" as the biggest selling debut album of all time.
With the new level of fame came the need for the band to support its work through television appearances, in store record signings and, of course, by touring. While the members of Hootie were already used to traveling up and down the East Coast to play for fans, the success of "Cracked Rear View" took the band around the rest of the country and around the rest of the world.
Two years later, the band released its sophomore effort, "Fairweather Johnson." While not the smash success that "Cracked Rear View" was, that second album did sell several million …