Highway 101 was one of the most popular country bands of the late '80s. The rock 'n' roll flare of their music inspired the sound of '90s country that we all know and love. The band was founded and fronted by vocalist Paulette Carlson in 1986. Chuck Morris, the band's manager, pulled Jack Daniels (guitar), Curtis Stone (bass, guitar, mandolin), and Cactus Moser (drummer) together to form the band Highway 101.
The country-rock group signed with Warner Bros. and released their debut self-titled album in 1987. The band was an overnight success. Their first singles, "The Bed You Made For Me" and "Whiskey If You Were A Woman," went straight to the Top 5 of the country music charts. The next set of singles, "Cry, Cry, Cry" and "Somewhere Tonight," both hit No. 1.
The band's second album, Highway 101, Vol. 2, produced four more top hits like "(Do You Love Me) Just Say Yes," which went No. 1, and "All the Reasons Why," "Setting Me Up" and "Honky Tonk Heart," which reached Top 10 positions.
The group had a gold album under their belt and won the 1988 and 1989 Vocal Group of the Year for the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.
Following the band's 1989 album, Paint the Town, which put another No. 1 under their belt, "Who's Lonely Now," Carlson left the band to pursue a career independently.
Nikki Nelson joined the band in 1990. The new sound of Highway 101 was showcased on the 1991 record Bing Bang Boom; though it did decent, it never took off as the previous records had. Not long after, the band parted ways with Warner Bros.
Highway 101 signed with Liberty to record and release a new project. The album wasn't a commercial success and several of the original band members left for new opportunities.
In 1996, Daniels and Carlson returned to the group for the Reunited released on Intersound Label.
Where is the Band Today?
Carlson got married and became a mother. According to The Tennesseean, Daniels recovered from addiction and started counseling patients. White and Moser, who's now married to Wynonna Judd, took Highway 101 for another spin with a new lead singer Chrislynn Lee and new guitarist Charlie White. The new version of Highway 101 was active up until 2010 when they appeared on the Grand Ole Opry.
Highway 101 will go down in history as one of the most successful '80s country bands.
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