John Mellencamp was born in Seymour, Indiana. He joined a soul band named "Crepe Soul" and served as one of two lead singers in the group. His senior year of high school, Mellencamp married Priscilla Esterline (in Kentucky, where it was legal for 17-year-olds to get married), and they had a daughter named Michelle on December 4 of that year. In 1971 he formed a short-lived cover band called "Trash."
In 1974 he graduated from Vincennes University and took a job at a phone company in Seymour before deciding to go to New York in an attempt to land a record deal. (Source: Wikipedia)