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Early in his career, John Mellencamp had a choice. He could either change his name and release his first album on MCA Records, or he could head back home to Seymour, Ind.
Potential rock Cougar i need you or a minimum wage job for the phone company — these were the options for the young singer, not even 25 years old, when presented with the stage name of Johnny Cougar. He had been trying to gain attention from the music industry for a couple years, making routine trips to New York City from the Midwest, and had little luck.
That is, until Tony DeFries heard his demo tape. He liked his James Dean look even more.
The manager was convinced that no one was going to buy a record from a singer named Mellencamp. He soon was dropped by MCA. Listen to Johnny Cougar's 'Chestnut Street'.
Despite the fact that Mellencamp had only begun to write songs, DeFries was comparing him to one of the greats: He signed with new management and made Cougar i need you record in England. Inhe opened Cougat vault and finally put out The Kid Insidein a bid for cash from new Cougar fans hungry for more music.
John Mellencamp. The prolific musician been recording as himself, ever since.
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The Top Albums of the '80s. Top 10 John Mellencamp Songs. Filed Under: LongformOriginal Features.
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