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October 23

“Heads Carolina, Tails California:” A ’90s Infectious Tune

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Can you really tell what decides your future? For some, they’d say it is fate. To others, they’ll consider random circumstances as the deciding factor. Country music singer Jo Dee Messina has a different case. When she made a guest performance on a radio show, she may have never thought such would pave the way to her big dream – a country music career.

The Live at Libby’s radio show in Kentucky where Messina was a guest performer was instrumental to her career jumpstart. The singer had a chance encounter with producer Byron Gallimore who was impressed with her performance. Gallimore happened to be working with country music star Tim McGraw at that time. After that, Messina and McGraw became friends and eventually label mates. As a matter of fact, McGraw was the co-producer of Messina’s debut single. In 2001, they worked on a duet record, “Bring on the Rain,” which became a chart-topper.

The Debut Single

Messina’s “Heads Carolina, Tails California” was, in a way, fitting for a debut single. It follows a couple who used coin flipping to decide their future. The song went to become one of the most infectious tunes of the ‘90s. It also offers a perfect soundtrack to a road trip with your significant other. Reaching No. 2 on the country chart, “Heads Carolina, Tails California” gave Messina her first Top 10 hit. Moreover, it helped the singer establish her reputation of being one of the decade’s most promising new vocalists.

Released in January 1996, the song was penned by Tim Nichols and Mark D. Sanders. It serves as the lead-off single for her self-titled album. The song received a favorable review from Devorah Evans Price of Billboard magazine. She specifically noted that,

“passion and energy permeate Messina’s strong vocal attacks on this infectious tune.”

Watch the music video for Jo Dee Messina’s “Heads Carolina, Tails California” below. Roger Pistole directed it.

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Heads Carolina Tails California, Infectious Tune, Jo Dee Messina, tim mcgraw


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