Herald JournalWinsted-Lester Prairie Journal, June 3, 2002

Messina, Jones headline Winstock 2002

By Ryan Gueningsman

Winstock 2002 will take place this weekend ­ Friday and Saturday, June 7 and 8.

The king of country music, George Jones, former professional wrestler Chad Brock, and third-time Winstock performer Jo Dee Messina will close out the show Saturday night.

George Jones, Saturday, 6:45 p.m.

With a career in country music already spanning over half of a century, George Jones is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

A native of eastern Texas, Jones has had probably the single-most interesting career in country music.

Hit after hit began to flourish when Jones broke into the business, but only after he began singing in his own style, his own voice, and not trying to mimic his idols Lefty Frizell, Hank Williams, and Roy Acuff.

Jones has gone on to have more charted singles than any other artist in any format in the history of popular music. Although he toured to promote those hits, Jones developed several bad addictions and missed many shows during his heyday, thus earning him the nickname "No Show Jones."

Many of Jones' hits were with his favorite duet partner and one-time wife Tammy Wynette. Hits such as "Golden Ring," and "Near You" were produced from the rocky union.

In the early '90s, Jones was in a terrible auto accident, which almost cost him his life. After proclaiming to be sober for the past 12 years, he admitted that he had "slipped up" that day.

Since that accident, he has quit everything cold turkey ­ no cigarettes, no coffee, no alcohol, none of that.

With his latest album, "The Rock," available to the public, Winstock should expect a rock-solid performance from "The Possum."

Some of George Jones' Hits:

· "Why Baby Why"

· "Tender Years"

· "She Thinks I Still Care"

· "The Race Is On"

· "Picture of Me Without You"

· "Orange Blossom Special"

· "He Stopped Loving Her Today"

· "Rockin' Chair"

· "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes"

· "The Grand Tour"

· "Choices"

· "Beer Run" (with Garth Brooks)

· "50,000 Names"

Chad Brock, 8:15p.m.

Exclusive interview

Chances are if you listened to country radio last year, you didn't hear anything from Chad Brock besides his standards ­ "Ordinary Life," and "Yes!," among others.

That's about to change.

Several weeks ago, Brock left his record label, Warner Brothers Records, and is in the process of signing with Broken Bow Records out of Nashville.

Originally from Florida, Brock spent the first part of his life there until he decided to move to Nashville and try his hand at playing music.

"My father worked for the railroad, and at that time the main railroad hub was Lylewood. I was born in Ocala, but we lived in Lylewood for the first 8 years of my life," Brock said. "We moved to Ocala around when I was 8."

Brock spent most of his life in Ocala until, at the age of 28, he decided to go to Tennessee.

"I came here (Nashville) in, I think it was January of '92, and I've been here ever since," Brock said. "I was in and out of bands, playing all over the place."

Although Brock scored a record deal with Warner Brothers in 1994 and was focused on his music ­ he also had another passion ­ professional wrestling.

Brock wrestled for the WCW from 1994-1996.

"I'd wrestle three days a week, and come back here and write a couple days a week ­ really going back and forth," he said.

It took Brock and Warner Brothers three-and-a-half years to get his first single out.

"After that finally came out, it was really going gangbusters for quite a long time, and then with the AOL-Time Warner merger, which brought so many new artists to Warner Brothers, I guess I just got lost in the shuffle," Brock said.

Brock did have some major success with his first number one hit song, "Ordinary Life."

"I knew I had a great song there when I heard it the first time," Brock said. "I was lucky enough to get it as a new artist. That was a cool thing right there."

"Radio accepting it the way it did, and the way the people accepted it. It took 28 weeks for it to go to number one, and when it did I was like 'yeah!'"

With that first number one hit, Brock was ready to take the music world head on.

"My career has gone pretty good after that," he said. "We had a couple top 10 hits, then came the song 'Yes!'"

That song exploded, and it went on to become the second most played country song of the year for 2000.

With that achievement under his belt, it appeared Brock was on his way to greater things.

Then, along came the merger.

"AOL and Time Warner merged, then nothing for me in 2001. I toured constantly on the tail-end of "Yes!" being so successful, and that's when I decided I better take better control, and find what I consider greener pastures.

Although he did put out his third album on Warner Brothers Records early this year, titled "III," Brock's music wasn't being promoted as well as it should have been.

"I asked the president (of Warner Brothers) if it was OK if I left, and that I felt I had a wonderful record that was done but needed work, and he said 'yes, I could leave,' so I'm in the process of signing with a company called Broken Bow."

Brock plans to take several songs from "III," and "some cool new stuff, and just rock and roll with it."

"I'm so excited about my new company," Brock said. "My music is a little bit of everything, I like it all, and I just like great songs. There are some people in the business who tend to gravitate to traditional country music, and they shy away from doing a pop-sounding song, then there are people who gravitate towards pop and stay away from traditional. I don't care ­ I just want great music."

"It's all about the song ­ about the lyrics and what it means, and how people react to the song, versus how people classify it," Brock said.

"We've got a rockin' band right now, and we're ready to hit the road again," he said. "We're going to lighten up, though, this year. My wife is going to have a baby in August. We'll still do probably close to 100 dates across the United States."

Jo Dee Messina, 10:15 p.m.

Jo Dee Messina is marking her third return to the Winstock stage this year ­ and this time it's as the festival's headliner.

The high-energy redhead from the Boston area has had an interest in music her entire life. She made it to Nashville in the early '90s, recorded her first album, and was beginning to develop a fan base ­ but even though she had a few hits, things didn't go Messina's way.

She was faced with some dire career challenges ­ and took them head on.

"Country radio and the fans reached out to me and helped me at a difficult time. They made the difference in my life. I like the idea that I can give some of that back. Now that things aren't in such a lowdown state, I'm able to help people more," Messina said.

The Billboard's Most Played Country Female of 1999 is helping people the best way she can ­ with her music.

"As long as I've got my songs to sing, a roof over my head, and I'm able to do things for others, then I'm complete."

With Messina's strong determination, past experiences, and songs off her new album "Burn," Winstock fans will be able to first-hand fuel the fire that keeps her going strong.

Some of Jo Dee Messina's Hits:

· "Bye, Bye"

· "Heads Carolina, Tails California"

· "I'm Alright"

· "You're Not in Kansas Anymore"

· "Stand Beside Me"

· "Lesson In Leavin'"

· "Downtime"

· "I'm a Survivor"

· "Burn"

· "Bring on the Rain" (with Tim McGraw)

Other notes

· Winstock's camping contest theme is "Proud to be an American." If you are camping out at Winstock, simply decorate your camp site according to this theme to be eligible for prizes.

· Remember, all performer times are subject to change.

· Register at the Winstock information booth for all prizes to be given out throughout the weekend.

· Get up early Saturday morning and party with The Kentucky HeadHunters, beginning at 11:30 a.m.

· Winner of Herald Journal Publishing's "Want to go to Winstock, Want to meet Lonestar" contest was Robert Mallak of Silver Lake. He and his guest will receive two general admission tickets to Winstock 2002, and two passes to go backstage and meet Lonestar prior to their Winstock performance.

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