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      If you've ever heard Gary's lead vocals accompanied by Joe Don and Jay's vocal and instrumental talent, you wouldn't forget it. The sound of Rascal Flatts is 100% original. You can't confuse their music over any other in country music.
     Believe it or not, four years ago, Rascal Flatts was struggling to find its very own place in country music. They've put out three, count them three, sucessful CD's . After three CD's, Rascal Flatts has some of the same honors and awards given to Country's biggest names. They're becoming Country's Biggest Name. Many know who they are. Most everyone in country music respects them. 
     Their self titled debut CD became one of only three platinum debuts in the past five years. With four top-10 singles, it stayed on the charts for two years. The self-titled CD is certified Platinum.
     Their sophomore album "Melt" went platinum just five weeks after its release and is now certified double platinum. If you don't have the CD, you've probably heard one of the singles, "These Days," "I Melt" "Love You Out Loud," "Mayberry," and "My Worst Fear." 
     Third CD "Feels Like Today" sold 200,946 copies its first week of release! Rascal Flatts is country artist number two to had a CD debuting at number one on both the Billboard Top 200 and Billboard's Country Music Chart. 
      When it comes to performing live, tours with Toby Keith and Brooks & Dunn gave the trio the perfect start. Touring with names like that would give anyone respect as it did Rascal Flatts. Highlights from the "Melt" Tour are numerous. Jay's instrument gets longer as the night goes on. Joe Don usually bends over. And, Gary's voice does not weaken at all through the whole performance and encore.
       No one Rascal is responsible for the success. Jay gave his awesome instrumental, vocal, and leadership talent to the trio. He plays bass and set up vocals for the "Melt" CD. Joe Don is responsible for the wonderful guitar work on the CD and in concert. His talent is amazing. Amazing enough to be compared to Vince Gill. Gary gave the finishing touch with his amazing vocal talent on all CD's, and sounds even more incredible live. Together, they co-produced their "Melt" CD. 
      Along with performing, producing and singing, they write. Their written songs appear not only on their own albums, but also on other albums. Jay's "Jezebel" is on one of Chely Wright's album. Joe Don's "Right Now" is on a Chad Brock album. Gary's "This Pretender" is on Joe Diffie's newest. On their own albums, Gary has written "See Me Through," "I Melt," and "Fast Cars And Freedom." Jay has written  "It's Not Just Me," "Too Good Is True," and "Here's to You." Joe Don has written "Like I Am." Together, they wrote "Shine On," and "Oklahoma-Texas Line."
     The dream began in Columbus, Ohio, where cousins Gary and Jay grew up. With musical families, it in a way started the trio by giving Gary and Jay a love for music. They always dreamed they would play together, but they felt it would only be a dream when Jay went to Nashville in 1992. He earned his first record deal as part of a Christian group called East to West. However dreams do come true. In 1997, he talked Gary into giving up his job with the Ohio Department of Mental Retardation. They spent many nights writing and singing together.  Joe Don and Jay met when playing in Wright's band. Joe Don had grown up in tiny Picher, Oklahoma, getting his musical inspiration from family as well. Although, the inspiration became love for country music while working at age 19 at a nearby show called Grand Lake Opry. Jay and Gary were working in a Printers Alley club with a part-time guitarist. When he couldn't make it one night, Jay invited Joe Don to fill in. Before they finished the first song, they knew they had something special. Someone special heard them, and was willing to get them a shot.
      Soon but after hard work, they went from opening for big acts to being a big act. They played the Grand Ole Opry, appeared on the soundtrack of We Were Soldiers, and recorded "Walk the Llama Llama" for Emperor's New Groove
      The third album is here, and it is great. It's debuted at Number ONE on the Billboard Top 200 and Billboard's Country Music Chart.
 
Christina Highley 2004