On This Day: Kenny Chesney Signed His First Record Deal in 1993

by Keeli Parkey
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An early step on his path to stardom occurred 28 years ago today (June 30) for Kenny Chesney. It was on this day in 1993 that the charismatic singer signed his first record deal.

According to Taste of Country, this record deal with Capricorn Records came after the future star had already been working in Nashville for three years. From 1990 until 1993, he was often seen performing at different locations throughout the city. There was also an album of demos that Chesney self-released prior to signing the record deal.

The 1993 deal wasn’t the only one Kenny Chesney signed during the early 1990s. In 1992, he signed on with the Opryland Music Group. This was a publishing deal for his skills as a songwriter.

Kenny Chesney landed his record deal with Capricorn Records after he was seen at a songwriters showcase. The label was famous for its work with famous groups such as the Marshall Tucker Band and the Allman Brothers Band. Chesney signed on with the label’s country division. This division was a new venture for the label.

The Record Deal Did Not Immediately Bring Kenny Chesney Fame and Fortune

However, the record deal Kenny Chesney signed on June 30, 1993, with Capricorn, did not bring Chesney immediate fame and fortune. Actually, things started off pretty slowly for the Knoxville, Tennessee, native.

Within one year, the future star had released his first album. Titled, “In My Wildest Dreams,” it debuted on April 19, 1994. However, it was not a huge success. The album itself only reached No. 37 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart. It only sold 31,000 copies.

Also, the three singles from this album either did not chart, or if they did they did not do well. Those three singles were “Whatever It Takes,” “The Tin Man,” and “Somebody’s Callin’.”

To make things worse for Kenny Chesney, the country division of Capricorn Records was shut down. Because of this, he no longer had a record deal. Even though he lost his deal, the singer still praised his first record label during a 1994 interview with Billboard.

“The people at Capricorn were wonderful, and they worked very hard for me. The problem was that they weren’t as well networked or tuned into the country side of things as a major country label,” Chesney said.

Chesney Joined BNA Label in 1995

Of course, this was not the end for Kenny Chesney and his country music career. In 1995, he joined the BNA label. Also, that same year he released his “All I Need to Know” album. This album gave him a few hit songs. These included the title track, “Fall in Love,” and “Grandpa Told Me So.”

His next album, “Me and You,” was released in 1996 and earned Chesney even more popularity. Things really took off for him in 1997 with his “I Will Stand” album. This included the song “She’s Got It All,” which was the first No. 1 hit of his career.

The rest, as they say, is history.

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