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Hanson - Biography
|last update : 09-06-2012 20:51|
|Hanson is an American pop rock band formed in Tulsa, Oklahoma by brothers Isaac, Taylor, and Zac Hanson. They are best known for the 1997 hit song "MMMBop" from their major label debut album Middle of Nowhere that earned three Grammy nominations. Despite the enormous commercial success of Middle of Nowhere, the band departed from Mercury Records and then eventually Island Def Jam Music Group after conflict with the label. The band now records under its own label, 3CG Records.|
Clarke Isaac Hanson (born November 17, 1980), Jordan Taylor Hanson (March 14, 1983) and Zachary Walker Hanson (October 22, 1985) are the first three children of parents Clarke Walker Hanson (June 1, 1954) and Diana Frances Hanson (née Lawyer) (April 30, 1954). The Hanson family also includes younger siblings Jessica Grace (July 31, 1988), Avery Laurel (November 4, 1990), Joshua Mackenzie, (January 7, 1994), and Zoë Genevieve (January 14, 1998).
The band was originally called The Hanson Brothers. The three young boys sang a cappella and recorded songs like "Rockin' Robin", "Splish Splash" and "Johnny B. Goode", as well as their own material. Their first performance as a professional group took place in 1992 at the Mayfest Arts Festival in Tulsa.
Hanson also appeared on Carman's Yo! Kidz: The Vidz, which included Taylor cast as a young Biblical David facing Goliath, Isaac cast as an event announcer, and other members of the family including Zac in the stands cheering on this "sporting event".
The three boys all started out playing the piano. Later on, Isaac picked up a second-hand guitar, Zac borrowed an old set of drums, and Taylor became the keyboard player of what turned into a garage band. The band recorded two independent albums in their hometown of Tulsa, Boomerang (recorded in autumn 1994, released in 1995) and MMMBop (released in 1996). The latter featured the original version of the song "MMMBop", which would later become the runaway single on their debut commercial record Middle of Nowhere. The boys then found themselves at the South By Southwest (aka SXSW) music festival in Austin, Texas. There, they were promptly signed by manager Christopher Sabec. He shopped them to several record companies, most of which dismissed the band as either a novelty or fraud before Steve Greenberg, an A&R representative for Mercury Records, heard them play a set at the Kansas State Fair. After this performance, they were signed almost immediately by Mercury. They soon became a worldwide sensation with the release of their first major-label album, Middle of Nowhere.
Middle of Nowhere was released in the U.S. on May 6, 1997, which was declared 'Hanson Day' in Tulsa by Oklahoma's then-governor Frank Keating. Although 'Hanson Day' was originally intended to be a one-time occurrence, many Hanson fans all over the world still recognize May 6 as Hanson Day every year. Hanson's popularity exploded during the summer of 1997, and Mercury Records released Hanson's first documentary Tulsa, Tokyo, and the Middle of Nowhere and their Christmas album Snowed In in the wake of their success. Hanson also launched MOE (which stood for Middle of Everywhere), a fan club magazine that ran for 12 issues. Following its cancellation, several fans created HTP (Hanson Tribute Project) Magazine in the same fashion as MOE until it was discontinued in the summer of 2005. After numerous unauthorized biographies of each of the brothers were published, Hanson turned to their close friend, Jarrod Gollihare of Admiral Twin, to write their authorized biography. Hanson: The Official Book reached number 9 on the New York Times Best Sellers List (nonfiction) on February 1, 1998. The band was nominated for three Grammy Awards in 1998: Record of the Year, Best New Artist, and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. During the summer of 1998, Hanson began a highly successful concert tour, the Albertane Tour. They performed a string of shows throughout stadiums and arenas in the U.S., targeting young audiences with a playful and energetic style. A live album, titled Live From Albertane, was released the following fall, as well as their second documentary The Road to Albertane.
Songs from Hanson's early independent albums, which are no longer in print, were leaked onto the Internet. However, the song files were poor quality. In response to the demand for their earlier work, Hanson re-released MMMBop as 3 Car Garage, minus 4 tracks. To date, the tracks from Boomerang have not been re-released, partly because Hanson did not play any of the instruments on that album. Three tracks from Boomerang ("Boomerang", "More Than Anything", and Rain (Falling Down)") and two of the remaining tracks from MMMBop ("Incredible" and "Baby (You're So Fine)") were released on the first MOE CD sent to fan club members. Boomerang continues to be circulated online.
During the Albertane Tour to follow up the release of Middle of Nowhere, Hanson wrote and demoed what would later become the songs for their second major studio album, This Time Around During the time period while Hanson was producing their sophomore release, their record label; Mercury Records had been sold off and Hanson was added to Island Def Jam's roster of artists. Almost immediately following the changeover Hanson released their second album, This Time Around, in May 2000 but due to lack of promotional funding sales were low and the label also pulled funding for their tour. They toured through the summer and fall of 2000 on their own funds.
The brothers left Island Def Jam Records after label executives refused over 80 songs from the band, believing new material lacked marketability . Hanson now records for their own independent label, 3CG Records. The label has distribution deals through Alternative Distribution Alliance in the United States, Cooking Vinyl in Europe, Sony BMG in Asia and with various other distributors throughout the world. During the dispute with their former label, Hanson signed with the management company, 10th Street Entertainment, which also manages artists such as Meat Loaf and Blondie.
The band's "Underneath Acoustic" tour occurred during the Summer and Fall of 2003. Music included acoustic versions of songs from the then-forthcoming release, Underneath. The tour ended November 5, 2003 with a performance at prestigious Carnegie Hall. The guys filmed for the Underneath Acoustic Live dvd at the last show in Chicago, IL., at the House of Blues, on November 11th.
Released on April 20, 2004, Underneath debuted at #1 on Billboard Top Independent Albums chart and #25 on the Billboard 200 album chart, making Underneath one of the most successful self-released albums of all time.
On March 5, 2005, Hanson performed the United States National Anthem at the inaugural NASCAR Busch Series Telcel-Motorola 200 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in Mexico City.v
In autumn 2005, Hanson toured in the U.S. and Canada to support The Best of Hanson: Live & Electric. They also visited colleges to showcase Strong Enough to Break, the documentary chronicling difficulties with and departure from Island Def Jam. During college visits, the band held question-and-answer sessions about independent artists role in the music industry.
In November 2005, Hanson's old record label released Mmmbop: The Collection, a compilation of early tracks. However, the CD was not supported by Hanson's loyal fans, as many disdained the label. This was due in part to the documentary that framed the music industry negatively.
Hanson toured South America and Europe and performed their first shows in Australia during the 2005 "Live and Electric" tour. In July 2006, the band recorded with a school choir in Soweto, South Africa to create "Great Divide", which was released through iTunes in December 2006. All proceeds from the song were directed towards research and prevention of AIDS in Africa.
On September 10, 2007, Hanson began The Walk tour in Nashville. During the tour, Hanson continued their work against poverty and AIDS in Africa, partnering with American company, TOMS Shoes. As part of TOMS' "Shoe Drop", for every pair of shoes sold, the company donated another pair for a child in Africa. Hanson brought awareness to this campaign by asking fans to join them in a 1-mile barefoot walk before each concert, to represent what a typical African child goes through on a daily basis.
The Walk tour was suspended after Isaac underwent lifesaving surgery for a pulmonary embolism. Doctors treated his condition by relieving blood flow restrictions caused by excess chest muscle and scar tissue from the repetitive motions of guitar playing. The tour resumed with Midwest and Eastcoast dates March through May, 2008. The brothers wrapped up the second leg of "The Walk" after playing 20 concerts in four weeks. They plan to tour again in fall 2008.
On January 15, 2007, Hanson released on iTunes the first episode of their documentary podcast "Taking the Walk", detailing production of the studio album. The first episode of the band's documentary Strong Enough to Break was also released on iTunes. The program is edited into 13 episodes for release bybpodcast.
In March, 2007, Hanson began a "preview tour" to promote The Walk and give fans a taste of recent work. Over 6-days, Hanson performed at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey, Toad's Place in New Haven, Connecticut, The Crocodile Rock in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and The Supper Club in New York City. On March 30, Taylor and Zac appeared in Dallas, TX to screen their documentary at the AFI Film Festival. Afterward, the brothers held a Q&A session along with director Ashley Greyson. Hanson performed in the UK during April 2007, playing songs from The Walk. They also promoted the release of the single "Go" and UK release of the album.
On May 6, 2007, the 10th anniversary of Hanson Day, the band re-recorded their first studio album, Middle of Nowhere, at The Blank Slate in their hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The band invited fan club members, influencing hundreds to fly to Oklahoma for the accoustic event. Hanson played concerts in the summer of 2007, supporting release of The Walk. The band appeared in Providence, Boston, New York City, Toronto and Los Angeles.
The Walk, Hanson's second album with 3CG Records, was released in the U.S., Mexico and Canada on July 24. It was released in Japan on February 21 and in the UK on April 30.