‘Catch of the Day’ – JoDee Messina – “Noel” [AUDIO]
During the coming holiday season, our hope is to introduce you to new Christmas songs, that will fill this holiday season with cheer and will also hopefully become part of your Christmas playlist for years to come. Today, we feature an artist who was born and raised in New England, but came to fame singing about Carolina.
Jo Dee Messina was born in Framingham, Massachusetts and raised in Holliston, MA, two places that don't come readily to mind when you think about country music. She grew up listening to Patsy Cline, Reba McEntire and the Judds, and began singing in clubs around her home town while still in high school, her brother Vincent and sister Terese backing her on drums and guitar. The family group continued playing together until 1989, when JoDee decided to move to Nashville at age 19.
She kicked around Nashville for a few years, working temp jobs, while entering talents shows around Music City. One contest, which Messina won, led to a regular gig on the radio program Live at Libby's. While performing on the program, Messina could the eye (and ear) of producer Byron Gallimore, who helped her put together a demo tape; at the time, Gallimore was working with a young singer named Tim McGraw. Messina and McGraw became friends and one night, while backstage at McGraw's show, she met and executive from McGraw's label, Curb Records, who jokingly said the label needed a red-head. With help from Gallimore and McGraw, Messina was soon signed to Curb.
In 1996, Jo Dee released her self-titled debut album, featuring the top-10 hits "Heads Carolina" and "You're Not in Kansas Anymore". The album would go on to be certified gold by the RIAA, and it currently sits on the cusp of platinum certification. Messina's follow-up, 1998's I'm Alright, became a historic album, receiving platinum certification and featuring 5 top-10 singles. Three of the singles, "Bye, Bye", "I'm Alright" and "Stand Beside Me" hit number one. "Bye, Bye" lasted two weeks at the top of the chart, but the second and third singles both remained at the top spot for three weeks, making Messina the first female artist in Billboard Chart history to have two 3-week #1 hits from the same album.
Messina would release 2 more albums with Curb, 2000's Burn, which would receive platinum status and chart 4 top-10 singles, 2 of which hit #1 and 2005's Delicious Surprise, which would go gold and give Jo Dee one more chart topper. Jo Dee left the label after the fourth album to focus on her
personal life. She was married in 2007 and gave birth to a son in 2009. She returned to recording in 2010, releasing a trilogy of EPs, Unmistakable. In March 2014 Messina released her first album of new material in over 9 years, Me. While the album charted, none of its singles appeared on the charts.
Messina is back in the studio, working on material for a new EP, Masquerade, to be released in 2017. She has also released a new holiday single, which is in our spotlight today. Jo Dee Messina and "Noel" is today's Catch of the HoliDay, new Christmas music you haven't head, but you'll want to hear it again.