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It might not come as a big surprise, but most musical performers come from a background that has the common thread of musical influences by family and friends. Rascal Flatts first two members, Gary LeVox and Jay DeMarcus, are cousins hailing from Columbus, Ohio. Both remember their first exposure to music at an early age through the weekend gatherings of their family. Jay says, "My earliest memories are of us sitting around the living room on Friday and Saturday nights and everybody coming around to the house and picking up whatever instrument was laying around and playing music all night long." Gary has the same fond memories of his musical upbringing, saying he spent a lot of time at Jay's on weekends playing music and just doing 'kid stuff'.

The third member of this country group, Joe Don Rooney, comes Picher, Oklahoma, which is nowhere near Columbus. Joe Don says there was a local country show in his part of the world that gave many talented country musicians the chance to show the rest of the world what they could do. He says, "There was a show called the Grand Lake Opry, believe it or not. Kind of like the Grand Ole Opry. It was really cool. When I was nineteen I worked there and every month we'd have a Grand Ole Opry star from Nashville, like Porter Wagoner, Connie Smith and Merle Haggard, come down to sing and perform." As luck and a great deal of musical talent would have it, all three members made their way to Nashville.

Jay and Joe Don met while playing for country artist Chely Wright. On top of this, Jay and Gary were also playing gigs on Printer's Alley in downtown Nashville. One night while playing, the cousins invited Joe Don to contribute to their musical effort. The blend of voices and instruments that took place was fantastic. Next thing you know, the trio went into the studio to record a few demos. Upon hearing the songs of Rascal Flatts, producer Dan Huff went to Lyric Street Records' Senior VP of A&R Doug Howard, encouraging him to sign Rascal Flatts NOW!

With a record contract in hand and an impressive debut CD, Rascal Flatts hopes to be one of the stronger members of Lyric Street's strong and growing talent base.

Check out the latest Rascal Flatts information through their website at: