Although Chuck Wicks' debut album was released only weeks ago, he's already setting records on the Country chart. VOA's Mary Morningstar introduces us to one of Nashville's most promising new artists.
Starting Over is the debut album by Delaware native Chuck Wicks. The 28-year-old singer-songwriter was majoring in education at Florida Southern College near Orlando when he decided to pursue a career in music. During his college years, Chuck played in cover bands and also worked at the House of Blues.
"I saw everybody from B.B. King, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Huey Lewis and The News to Brad Paisley, Wynonna and John Mayer. It was all different genres, and you got to see how they treated their audience, and how their audience responded," he says.
Six years ago, Chuck was offered a developmental deal with RCA Records. Although he needed only two classes to receive his college degree, Chuck accepted the offer. He moved to Nashville, but the deal later fell through. Chuck stayed in "Music City" writing songs and working as a parking attendant at a local restaurant.
Chuck co-wrote all but one of the tracks on Starting Now. He collaborated with some of Nashville's top songwriters, including Troy Verges, Rivers Rutherford and Monty Powell, who co-produced the album with Dan Huff. Huff is known for producing albums for Faith Hill, Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts and Carrie Underwood.
Chuck is currently opening concerts on Brad Paisley's "Bonfires and Amplifiers" tour. Brad heard the first single from Starting Now on the radio, called his manager and said, "I don't know who sings that song, but that's who I want to open for me."
That song, "Stealing Cinderella," has set two chart records. It was the fastest-rising single by a new artist in 2007. Chuck is also the first new Country performer to have a Top 10 hit this year.