Twenty years ago today, on July 18, 1994, USC's answer to college rock, Hootie and the Blowfish (officially) released their summer hit single "Hold My Hand ".
The group, formed in 1986 at the University of South Carolina and had been the talk of South Carolina for years prior to the release of the single that shot them into 90's superstardom. The band would play Myrtle Beach's legendary Purple Gator twice monthly from 1991 to 1993, but that all changed the summer of 1994. According to Wikipedia, "Hold My Hand" was written by all four members of the band, Darius Rucker, Mark Bryan, Dean Felber, and Jim Sonefeld and was released on a self-titled cassette(!) in 1991. The single "Hold My Hand" of course came from their album "Cracked Rear View" which dropped a few weeks earlier on July 5th, 1994.
The song was a staple on 101.7 WKZQ back in the day, and most who were in-the-know already had the single and heard all the songs for years. But, for me, the band was new in 1994. I just moved to Myrtle Beach (May, 1994) and was turning 14 years old that summer, so the idea of the band with one of the most popular songs on radio and MTV (remember when they played music...ah 1994) was from the state I just moved to and would play all around town before that time was really cool to this kid.
"Hold My Hand" eventually peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 6 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts, and their highest ranking, 4th on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks.
Now, admittedly, I'm not the biggest Hootie fan, I don't know all the history or the songs but I do know all the singles, owned the "Cracked Rear View" CD, and have had their "Best of " album on my phone for some time now, and know that the singer's name isn't Hootie. But, thanks to when the song hit the airwaves hard the summer of 1994, and with me just moving here "Hold My Hand" has a special place in my heart, and probably always will.
A lot has changed in 20 years, but a good, catchy tune will always be something to sing loudly with friends, smile about and evoke fond memories. Have a listen to the song, watch the video above and think back to that summer -if you were alive then, man I feel old...