On This Day: Mark Chesnutt Scores Spicy No. 1 Hit ‘Gonna Get a Life’ in 1995

by Jim Casey

Mark Chesnutt topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart with “Gonna Get a Life” on May 20, 1995. Mark was able to celebrate peak crawfish season (that’s May) with another chart-topper.

If you happened to catch a Mark Chesnutt concert in the 1990s (or after), it wasn’t out of the ordinary for the Texan to inject a little Cajun flavor into his shows with songs like “Big Mamou.” The matriarchal side of Mark’s family hailed from Louisiana, and he liked to keep his shows spicy by showing off his roots.

Mark scored a handful of No. 1 hits on his first three albums, including “Brother Jukebox,” “I’ll Think of Something,” “It Sure Is Monday,” and more. On his fourth album, What a Way to Live, Mark kicked things up a notch by recording “Gonna Get a Life.”

Top Mark

Penned by Jim Lauderdale and Frank Dycus, “Gonna Get a Life” was the third single from What a Way to Live. Released on February 21, the tune topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart three months later to give Mark his sixth chart-topper. While the album featured two additional Top 10 hits, “She Dreams” (No. 6) and “Goin’ Through the Big D” (No. 2), “Gonna Get a Life” was the album’s lone No. 1 single.

Of course, Mark’s video for the tune was a gumbo of good times. The festive clip featured footage of Mark at a concert in Lafayette, Louisiana, as well as a late-night crawfish boil in the area. The after-party attracted a number of local musicians, who showed off their skills on the washboard, fiddle, and musical bones.

The clip also gave Mark a chance to show of his dance moves. Many of Mark’s previous videos showcased his penchant for heartfelt ballads, but “Gonna Get a Life” allowed him to cut loose on an uptempo ditty.

Yes, the beer was flowing. And so were the good times. Of course, Mark cranked out a number of additional hits through the late 1990s, including upbeat slapper, “It’s a Little Too Late.” But “Gonna Get a Life” was the life of the party. It deserves a spin at every crawfish boil.