Chesney and Mellencamp Visit Crossroads

Two guys from small towns in Tennessee and Indiana met Wednesday night (Aug. 6) to share some songs while captivating a capacity crowd invited to a taping of CMT Crossroads. Kenny Chesney and John Mellencamp performed several of their hits during the concert at a Nashville soundstage. Referring to Mellencamp’s hit, “Jack and Diane,” Chesney told CMT News, “I’ve sung that song so many times sitting on a stool in some bar in East Tennessee and then singing it live onstage for several years. To do it with his band — the people that do it every day — is a pretty cool feeling. It’s surreal.” Prior to the taping, Mellencamp explained to CMT News that he’s never been concerned with categorizing music. “I grew up listening to country music,” Mellencamp said. “It was all around me. It was on the radio stations I listened to when I was a kid — Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and then all of a sudden, there’s James Brown and there’s the Righteous Brothers. There’s all these different types of music all on the same radio station. So, to me, it was just always music. I never really thought, ‘Oh, that’s country’ or ‘I don’t listen to country’ or ‘I don’t listen to jazz.’ … I listened to everything.” In addition to “Jack and Diane,” the concert features performances of several familiar songs, including “Small Town,” “R.O.C.K. in the USA,” “Back Where I Come From,” “Live Those Songs,” “Young” and Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.” The CMT Crossroads episode is set to air Oct. 3. 08/07/03