With the rich, bluesy vocals of Darius Rucker and gleeful harmonies of guitarist Mark Bryan, bassist Dean Felber and drummer Jim "Soni" Sonefeld, Hootie & the Blowfish, sold over 25 million records worldwide after their infectious melodies hit the airwaves in 1994 with hits such as "Hold My Hand", "Let Her Cry" and "Only Wanna Be With You."
One of the biggest misconceptions to most people is that Hootie & The Blowfish became an overnight success in 1994 when their debut album Cracked Rear View, moved over 16 million copies (and counting) in the U. S. alone. What most people don't know was that the album's triumph came after a decade of hard work.
The quartet met when they were freshman at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Mark Bryan heard Darius Rucker singing in the showers of the dorm they shared and was impressed by his vocal ability. Bryan and Rucker began playing cover tunes as The Wolf Brothers; eventually Bryan and Rucker hooked up with Felber, a former high school band mate of Bryan's, and Jim "Soni" Sonefeld as Hootie & The Blowfish. (The unlikely moniker was borrowed from the nicknames of two college friends.)
The Hootie and the Blowfish Foundation, established in 2000, is a private non-profit organization that was created in conjunction with the Hootie and the Blowfish Monday After the Masters Golf Tournament and benefits children of South Carolina through education and supporting school music programs nationwide.
Throughout their career, Mark Bryan, Dean Felber, Darius Rucker, and Jim Sonefeld have stayed true to their roots and worked hard to give something back to the community that has always supported them. By establishing a fund with the Central Carolina Community Foundation, Hootie and the Blowfish is creating an opportunity for grants to benefit the education of South Carolina’s children of today, and well into the future.
“The Foundation enables us to be proactive for the charities we are passionate about. The foundation becomes a viable resource that enables us to help people at anytime,” says Mark Bryan, guitarist for Hootie and the Blowfish.