The timing of Chuck Wicks’ departure from RCA Nashville – just days after Alan Jackson announced his split from Arista – set tongues wagging down on 16th Avenue last week, and this morning brought confirmation of what many industry commentators had been predicting: Jackson and Wicks have officially announced the formation of a new pop-country duo called Wicks 66.
“You know, it just, uh, seemed like time to try something a little different,” said Jackson, one of country radio’s staple traditional acts over the past 20 years. “I know he was on that dancing show and seems a little fruity or whatever, but Chuck’s just a good ol’ boy from small-town Delaware, and I’m a good ol’ boy from Newnan, Georgia. We’ve got more in common than different, you know.”
On the origins of the duo name, Jackson explained: “When we realized Chuck’s last name rhymes with the year of the Cadillac I gave to Zac Brown, we figured it was meant to be.”
For Wicks, the new duo has meant a new lease on his career: “First of all, obviously, it’s a huge honor to be singing with Alan Jefferson. I grew up on his music, so to call him a friend now is totally surreal. I think people will be pleasantly surprised by how great we sound together. Our vocal blend lends itself to any number of things, from brother harmony to male-female duet kinds of things. The sky is the limit. Look out, Burns & Poe!”
The two reportedly first met when Jackson mistook Wicks for David Nail at an awards show, stopping to compliment him on the soulfulness of “Red Light.” “Alan is such a kidder,” says Wicks of that first meeting. “Hand to God, I really didn’t know who the hell he was,” adds Jackson.
The duo’s debut single is expected in March.
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