Sara (no H) messaged me a few days ago and asked about the 1990's group, Blackhawk, what I thought about them, and what I remembered most. I played all of their songs of course during their run and when I think back on them, one thing sticks out to me - outside of the music.
They recorded some really good songs, and had success for a few years as a chart regular. But they never had the huge success that others did. But one thing about Blackhawk that is absolute. The fans that discovered them, and liked them, were HUGE fans and remain so. For what I would call a solid mid-level act in their prime, they had a fierce following. The three-member band broke through in 1993, and came out of the gate hot with their debut single, Goodbye Says It All. It stalled at #11 on the country chart, but it may be the biggest #11 hit ever. People LOVE that song, and how it wasn't a #1 is still a mystery to me. It's beloved.
Goodbye Says It All - Maybe the biggest non top ten hit in Country Music History. Play it, and watch people at the club.
Their debut album, Blackhawk had 5 singles off of it, all moderate hits, BUT is went multi-platinum, and that is not small feat in any era. Two million sold and not a major hit record on it. That in itself is unheard of, but a testament to the loyalty of their fans, and also sometimes the total inaccuracy of the charts. The next few albums had again, moderate success commercially and on the charts. They never had a #1 song, but were always right there. Most of their hits solid. Big Guitar #8 / I'm Not Strong Enough To Say No #2 / Like There Ain't No Yesterday #3 / There You Have It #4. And there were others!
Almost A Memory Now - A real GREAT Blackhawk treasure song. Top 10, but should have been a #1
They even survived a death of one of the founding members, Van Stephenson (formerly of Restless Heart) he died of cancer in 2001. There have been a few members come and go over the years, and they are still making music today, although not a charted act. Their run on the charts was short but sweet. They were slick, and new, and had a sound that was absolutely unique. They possessed a trait that is extremely difficult to acheive, that you KNEW it was them on the radio. Strong harmonies, and a great image for young fans in that era when we were getting younger all the time.
In another decade they may have been a bigger player. But the 1990's were simply packed with gigantic superstars and the new traditionalists were dominating, Think about it, Garth, Strait, Jackson, Black, Cyrus, McGraw, Chestnut, Lawrence, Diffie, Stone, Chesney, Toby, along with a huge group of highly successful women controlling the charts, like Twain, Clark, Tillis, Messina, Morgan, Loveless, and McEntire, It was a great time in country, but tough too. The competition was brutal, but Blackhawk held their own. The found a fan base and kept them, and keep them still.
Next week we will take a look back at Pam Tillis