Alabama (band)

Alabama is an American country and Southern rock band formed in Fort Payne, Alabama, in 1969. The band was founded by Randy Owen (lead vocals, rhythm guitar) and his cousin Teddy Gentry (bass guitar, background vocals). They were soon joined by their other cousin, Jeff Cook (lead guitar, fiddle, and keyboards). First operating under the name Wildcountry, the group toured the Southeast bar circuit in the early 1970s, and began writing original songs. They changed their name to Alabama in 1977 and following the chart success of two singles, were approached by RCA Records for a record deal.

Alabama's biggest success came in the 1980s, where the band had over 27 number one hits, seven multi-platinum albums and received numerous awards. Alabama's first single on RCA Records, "Tennessee River", began a streak of 21 number one singles, including "Love in the First Degree" (1981), "Mountain Music" (1982), "Dixieland Delight" (1983), "If You're Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)" (1984) and "Song of the South" (1988). The band's popularity waned slightly in the 1990s although they continued to produce hit singles and multi-platinum album sales. Alabama disbanded in 2003 following a farewell tour and two albums of inspirational music but reunited in 2010 and have continued to record and tour worldwide.

The band's blend of traditional country music and Southern rock combined with elements of gospel, and pop music gave it a crossover appeal that helped lead to their success. They also toured extensively and incorporated production elements such as lighting and "sets" inspired by rock concerts into their shows. The band has over 30 number one country records on the Billboard charts to their credit and have sold over 75 million records, making them the most successful band in country music history.[1][2] AllMusic credited the band with popularizing the idea of a country band and wrote that "It's unlikely that any other country group will be able to surpass the success of Alabama."[3]

Alabama
Alabama at Bayfest 2014
Alabama at Bayfest in Mobile, Alabama in 2014
Background information
Also known asYoung Country
Wildcountry
OriginFort Payne, Alabama, United States
Genres
Years active1969–2004, 2006–2007, 2010–present
LabelsGRT, MDJ, RCA Records, BMG Chrysalis
Websitewww.thealabamaband.com
MembersRandy Owen
Teddy Gentry
Jeff Cook
Past membersMark Herndon
Jackie Owen
Rick Scott
Bennett Vartanian

History

1969–79: Formation and early years

FortPayneAir
Alabama formed in Fort Payne, Alabama (seen here in 1999).

Alabama was formed by guitarists Randy Owen and Jeff Cook, and bassist Teddy Gentry, three cousins born and raised near Fort Payne, Alabama, an area with strong country music roots.[4] Owen and Gentry grew up on separate cotton farms on Lookout Mountain (a plateau that stretches across northeastern Alabama, through northwest Georgia and into Tennessee), learning guitar together and singing in church before the age of six.[5] Gentry and Owen played in numerous groups during the 1960s, ranging from pop to bluegrass.[5] Cook joined the band in 1969 forming the group Young Country, which first jammed together around Christmas.[4] Cook also played in numerous bands and was a rock and roll disk jockey.[5] The three cousins all shared vocal duties, with another cousin, drummer Jackie Owen, completing the group's first lineup.[4] The band's first performance was at a high school talent contest (playing a Merle Haggard song), for which they won first prize and tickets to the Grand Ole Opry.[6][5] Despite this, all were busy with prior commitments to pursue music: Owen still in high school, Cook working for Western Electric, and Gentry laying carpets full-time.[4] The band grew further inactive when Cook went to college and Owen into the military.[5]

The group became a professional band in 1972, adding drummer Bennett Vartanian and changing their name to Wildcountry.[5] During this time, the group accepted a position playing at the nearby Canyonland theme park.[7][4] The park would bring in established stars, such as Jerry Wallace, Bobby Bare, and Narvel Felts, and the band would back them, afterwards performing a one-hour dance set.[4] After a while, with opportunities for the band slimmed, a discouraged Cook took a government job in Anniston, Alabama. Owen was studying English at Jacksonville State University, and Cook had an electronics job.[8] The trio shared at $56-a-month apartment in Anniston,[8] working to keep the band afloat with night and weekend gigs.[4] The group decided to become professional musicians in 1973, and began performing at bars throughout the Southeast.[5] In March, the band relocated to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, performing six nights a week at a club named The Bowery for tips.[7][9] They made their best money performing cover songs of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Merle Haggard.[6] The group could not secure a record contract and began to self-finance recordings.[8] The group borrowed $4,000 from a Fort Payne bank to record and release their own albums to sell at shows.[5] Vartanian dropped out of the group, and following a rotation of four more drummers, they settled on Rick Scott in 1974.[5]

The group sent out demo tapes to record companies but received few responses until executives at GRT Records signed the band to a one-record contract,[5] issuing their debut single, "I Want to Be with You Tonight", in 1977.[4] GRT was more interested in the band as songwriters, and convinced the group to change their name to the Alabama Band, later shortened to Alabama.[10][7] The song only reached number 78 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts,[11] and GRT declared bankruptcy the following year. Due to a hidden clause in their contract, Alabama was forbidden from recording with another label.[5] For the next two years, the band raised money to buy out their contract and they began recording again in 1979.[5] Following self-recorded efforts Wildcountry (1976) and Deuces Wild (1977), Alabama Band No. 3 became the band's third album, and the band performed over 300 shows on the road that year.[5] The group hired independent radio promoters to receive radio play for the single "I Wanna Come Over", and they sent hand-written letters to program directors and DJs nationwide.[5] It received the attention of Dallas-based MDJ Records, who signed the band.[4] Scott left the group at this time, and was replaced by Mark Herndon, a rock drummer later credited with bringing the band their signature sound.[5] "I Wanna Come Over", became their first radio hit, reaching the top 40 in the Billboard country chart.[12]

1980–87: Mainstream success and superstardom

The group's next single, "My Home's in Alabama", received an even better response, reaching the top 20.[12] Their early chart successes led to an invitation to appear at the "New Faces" show at Nashville's annual Country Radio Seminar, along with other new acts, such as Reba McEntire.[9] The band had to perform with studio musicians, rather than as a band, and left the session believing they had destroyed their chances. Despite this, the group drew interest from several labels, among those RCA Records,[10] with whom they signed in April 1980.[7] Their first single on RCA, "Tennessee River", was produced by Harold Shedd and was their first to hit number one on the Billboard country chart, beginning a streak of over 30 number one hits.[5] Cashbox named the band the New Vocal Group of the Year, marking the band's first award.[4] In July 1980, the band left their long-time gig at the Bowery,[10] promoting their single which they initially believed to be fluke.[9] The success took the band by surprise and soon became "all but consuming."[10]

Alabama enjoyed a great deal of creative freedom at RCA; they followed up "Tennessee River" with "Why Lady Why" despite the objections of executives and trade publications,[13] The song became their second number one on the charts.[12] They toured extensively, headlining small clubs and opening for bigger acts in major venues.[4] In addition, the group also received television exposure on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and The Merv Griffin Show.[4] In February 1981, Alabama released its second major label album, Feels So Right; it peaked at number 16 on the Billboard 200 and stayed for more than three years, longer than any other Alabama album.[14] "Old Flame" was their next number one in February 1981, followed by "Feels So Right" in May, and "Love in the First Degree" that October.[12][15] That year, Alabama received a great deal of industry attention: Billboard named them New Group for the Year, Radio & Records called them Group of the Year, and the Academy of Country Music (ACM) deemed the band the Vocal Group of the Year.[4] The quintet performed on the 1981 Country Music Association Awards, where it received both Instrumental Group of the Year and Vocal Group of the Year.[4] Although the band received unprecedented success, Owen's personal life was falling apart: his father died while he was on the road, affecting him greatly.[9]

Mountain Music, released in February 1982, is considered their final release before a significant upgrade in production and sound.[17] All three of the album's singles reached number one: "Mountain Music" in May 1982, followed two months later by "Take Me Down" that July, and "Close Enough to Perfect" in October.[12] That year, both Mountain Music and Feels So Right would go quadruple platinum; by late 1982, the band had sold over six million albums, despite just two years on the national circuit.[12] "Christmas in Dixie", a seasonal song released in 1982, charted on two of Billboard magazine's music popularity charts in six different calendar years.[18] Alabama became the first group to win CMA's prestigious Entertainer of the Year award, which they collected three years in a row, from 1982 to 1984.[17] The group received a Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, for Mountain Music.[4]

The Closer You Get..., released in March 1983, was certified platinum within two months, and also won the Grammy for Best Country Performance.[19][4] Each of the album's singles—"Dixieland Delight", "The Closer You Get", and "Lady Down on Love"—were number ones in both the U.S. and Canada.[15] Roll On was Alabama's next LP, and its four singles, "Roll On (Eighteen Wheeler)", "When We Make Love", "If You're Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)", "(There's A) Fire in the Night", all went to the top in both countries.[15] 40-Hour Week (1985) continued the band's string of multinational successes, with "40 Hour Week (For a Livin')" and "Can't Keep a Good Man Down" peaking at number one in both territories, with only the lead single, "There's No Way", falling short in Canada (although it peaked at number two).[15] 40-Hour Week was one of Alabama's most popular albums, crossing over in the pop album charts.[3] Alabama Christmas, a collection of nine holiday songs plus "Christmas in Dixie", became Alabama's debut on the compact disc that September; it was also the centerpiece of a retail and television promotion (sponsored by the Nashville Network).[20]

RCA issued an Alabama Greatest Hits compilation in January 1986, which went over five times platinum,[19] making the band the most successful country act of the 1980s.[5] The Touch followed in September 1986, and although considered one of the weakest in the band's catalogue,[5] it did have two number one hits: ""You've Got" the Touch" and "Touch Me When We're Dancing".[21] Their next record, Just Us, received a similar critical response, but produced two number ones: "Face to Face" and "Fallin' Again".[21] They also contributed their vocals to "Deep River Woman", a single by Lionel Richie, from Richie's third solo album Dancing on the Ceiling. Released in December 1986, the single peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart and number 71 on the Hot 100.[22]

1987–2004: Decline in popularity and Farewell tour

By the late 1980s, Alabama's sales slowed down considerably, with only their major albums going gold.[23] The group's popularity was mostly eclipsed by more traditional-sounding artists such as Ricky Skaggs, Randy Travis, George Strait, and Dwight Yoakam.[24] Despite this, they continued to be a popular touring act, and the band issued their first live album, Alabama Live, in 1988.[23] For 1989's Southern Star, the band decided to part ways with longtime producer Shedd, instead splitting production duties between Josh Leo and Larry Lee, and the other half with Barry Beckett.[5] "Song of the South" was another number one, and the album's remaining singles—"If I Had You", "High Cotton", and "Southern Star"—were number ones in both the U.S. and Canada.[15] That year, Alabama were named by Billboard the Country Artist of the 1980s and the ACA voted the band the Artist of the Decade.[23]

Although their popularity continued to decline during the 1990s, their albums still reached gold and platinum status.[5][23] The 1990 album Pass It on Down featured three number one singles: "Jukebox in My Mind", "Forever's as Far as I'll Go", and "Down Home".[21] According to AllMusic, by the time the band released 1992's American Pride, "they were among the genre's aging veterans."[25] Richard Carlin of Country Music: A Biographical Dictionary, suggested that the group's harmonies sounded dated to the new audience.[26] "I'm in a Hurry (And Don't Know Why)" became the album's biggest hit, reaching number one; the album's other singles still fared very well, with "Take a Little Trip", "Once Upon a Lifetime", and "Hometown Honeymoon" peaking within the top three.[21][27] Cheap Seats followed in 1993, with "Reckless" becoming Alabama's final number one, although most of the band's singles afterward peaked within the top ten.[21][27] The band's 1995 album, In Pictures, represented their eighteenth gold album, more than the total for any other country act to that point.[28] In 1996, the group remained finalists in the Vocal Group of the Year at the Country Music Association Awards.[28] The band released Dancin' on the Boulevard in 1997, exploring R&B and beach music.[29] Singles "Sad Lookin' Moon" and "Dancin', Shaggin' on the Boulevard" were top five hits in the U.S. and Canada.[27] The following year, the group released For the Record, a two-disc greatest hits compilation that contained two new singles — "How Do You Fall in Love" and "Keepin' Up". Both new tracks were hits on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, peaking at number two and fourteen, respectively.[21]

For their fifteenth studio release, Twentieth Century (1999), the band recorded a cover of "(God Must Have Spent) A Little More Time on You" by the boy band 'N Sync in 1999, in a move that was considered an attempt to "stay relevant."[26] The single nonetheless hit number one in Canada, number three on the US country charts, and number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100.[16][27] When It All Goes South (2001) followed in 2001. "If I never did another CD, this is the one I will always point to as the one that I was happy with the most," said Owen at the time of its release.[30] Despite this, the album's singles did not fare well in comparison to past successes, with only the title track becoming a top 15 hit, representing the band's last career peak.[21]

Alabama announced the American Farewell tour in May 2002 at the Country Music Association Awards (CMAs), encompassing 40 tour dates, sponsorships, special events, and a TV special. Owen spoke then on the decision to part ways: "When you get down to it, there are many, many factors involved — some of them very personal. It's really about the integrity of the group, the dignity of the group."[31] Owen later admitted the group was exhausted after twenty years of nonstop touring and recording, and "everybody needed some time."[9] The tour collected $15 million in box office before it even began, and Alabama performed to packed arenas from June to November 2003.[32][33] Due to "extraordinary fan response and overwhelming ticket demand," the tour was extended for an additional 30 shows, running between February and June 2004.[34] The group performed their "final" show in October 2004 in Bismarck, North Dakota, with Herndon jokingly declaring "I need a job" as the concert closed.[35]

2004–present: Reunions

In the ensuing years, Owen stayed active as a solo act, Cook with his Allstar Goodtime Band and Gentry as a producer and with his band Rockit City.[6] Herndon and the other group members had had a difficult relationship during the band's career.[36] While he was present in each press photo and a photo of him once hung at Alabama's fan club and museum, Owen contended that he was never an official member of the group. He claimed his inclusion in photos was the label's idea, and that Herndon was a paid employee of the band, rather than a member.[36] In May 2008, the other members of the group sued drummer Mark Herndon for $202,670 in money allegedly overpaid to him three years earlier after the band's farewell tour concluded.[37] This money was factored into the net profit and given to Herndon before accounting was completed, an allegation Herndon has denied. The band did not sue Herndon until he requested money from the multiple live albums and songs that the band had released but never paid Herndon for playing on.[37] Owen stated that RCA desired Herndon in the band so their image could be comparable to the Beatles.[9] Despite their troubles, he stated they had no hard feelings in an interview years later: "I don’t have one thing against him in any way in the world."[9]

Owen was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010, but he was later given a clean bill of health, which led to the band's reunion, without Herndon.[9] Following a series of tornadoes destroying homes and businesses throughout their state in 2011, Alabama assembled a benefit concert in Birmingham, called Bama Rising.[9] Featuring the band's first set since 2004, alongside Luke Bryan, Sheryl Crow and Brad Paisley, the concert raised $2.1 million. "I guess we realized that maybe we missed the playing ... and five or six years had gone by and we were like, 'Maybe that wasn't as bad as we remember it being,'" said Gentry.[9] In celebration of the group's 40th anniversary, Alabama resumed touring in 2013 for the Back to the Bowery tour, referencing the Myrtle Beach club where they first became professional musicians.[6] They also undertook a short cruise, The Alabama & Friends Festival at Sea, which left for the Bahamas on Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Pearl ship.[38] In addition, the band released Alabama & Friends, a tribute album encompassing covers from newer artists such as Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line, in addition to two new tracks by Alabama.[9]

The band released their first new studio album in 14 years, Southern Drawl, on September 18, 2015 via BMG Chrysalis.[39] In 2016, Alabama were selected as one of 30 artists to perform on "Forever Country", a mash-up track of "Take Me Home, Country Roads", "On the Road Again", and "I Will Always Love You" that celebrates 50 years of the CMA Awards.[40]

In April 2017, guitarist Jeff Cook announced in a video that he would reduce the number of shows he would be in attendance for while the band was on tour, due to his struggle with Parkinson's. He had been diagnosed four years prior, and this was his first public announcement about his condition. [41]

Musical style and influences

Alabama's music mixes both country, rock, and pop, particularly evident in their musical concept: the band was one of the first country bands to achieve significant airplay.[42] Despite their influences from other genres, the band was most inspired by country music, which is most evident in their "harmonies, songwriting, and approach."[42] Stephen Thomas Erlewine writes that the band is "indebted to country, particularly the Bakersfield sound of Merle Haggard, and the sound of Nashville pop."[42] The band echoed its country upbringing in one of its first trade articles: "We're country first and crossover second. If crossovers come, that's great, but we'd rather have a No. 1. country song than be lost in the middle of both country and pop charts," said Owen.[13]

By the mid-1980s, the band increasingly moved toward a general pop-rock sound, "going for splashier productions with a more heavily amplified sound."[26] Alabama's lyrics often centered on their homeland. Their first hit single, "Tennessee River", recounts being "born across the river in the mountains I call home," while "Dixieland Delight" chronicles cruising down a rural Tennessee byway.[9]

Chart records, sales, and awards

Multiplatinum certifications

Alabama is among the world's best-selling bands of all time, having sold a combined 75 million records worldwide.[43] Alabama's best-selling studio album is Mountain Music (1982), while two greatest hits albums — Greatest Hits (1986) and For the Record (1998) — are among their highest in individual sales, with all three totaling five million in sales.[19] Alabama received multiplatinum success for several albums; albums currently certified quadruple platinum include Feels So Right, The Closer You Get..., and Roll On, while Alabama's double platinum albums include My Home's in Alabama, 40-Hour Week, Alabama Christmas and Greatest Hits Volume III.[19]

Awards

Alabama is the most awarded band in the history of country music, with over 200 awards from a variety of organizations.[10] In 1981, Alabama won both the Vocal Group of the Year and Instrumental Group of the Year honors from the CMAs. It also won the ACM's Vocal Group of the Year award, and Billboard's New Group of the Year honors. The group won the CMA's prestigious Entertainer of the Year award for three consecutive years (1982–84), and the ACM's Entertainer of the Year award five times (1982–86).[10] In 1989, Alabama was named Artist of the Decade by the ACM. In addition, Alabama has also received the NARM Gift of Music award, the Alabama Hall of Fame Distinguished Service award, the Country Radio Broadcasters Humanitarian Award, the Prince Matchabelli National Hero Award, the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[10]

Legacy

Impact

Alabama has been credited with "substantially broadening country's audience while becoming one of the most popular acts in American musical history" by Michael McCall of The Encyclopedia of Country Music.[7] The band was notable for its three-person lead (as "most other country acts focused on a soloist accompanied by an anonymous band"), their collective hair length and facial hair (which would have been deemed unacceptable just a decade earlier), and their prominent electric bass and drums.[26] They had a slightly edgier sound than other groups, and both played their own instruments and wrote their own songs.[9] Alabama mostly appealed to a younger audience, although their clean-cut image appealed to the more conservative, older country audience as well.[26] Kurt Wolff described the band's appeal: "They're just rebel enough for the young folks, but their parents also dig the boys' pretty harmonies, sentimental soft spots, and old-fashioned family values."[17] Alabama gave prominence to their hometown of Fort Payne, and also raised awareness for environmental issues.[23]

The band's incorporation of rock and roll into their sound was an inspiration for groups such as Restless Heart, Shenandoah, Exile, Diamond Rio, Lonestar, Ricochet, and the Mavericks.[7][10] According to Irwin Stambler and Grelun Landon, authors of Country Music: The Encyclopedia, the group's diminishing sales in the late 1980s reflected competition from country bands that would not have received recognition had it not been for Alabama paving the way. For their part, these groups credited Alabama with providing a massive influence on their careers.[23] Prior to Alabama's unprecedented chart success, most country hit singles belonged to solo artists or duets.[4] Many Alabama singles and albums represented crossover appeal on the pop charts.[44]

Despite their successes, Alabama's career was loathed by music critics of the day, citing the "vacuous songs and watered-down, middle-of-the-road arrangements" that blurred lines between country and pop.[44] The Baltimore Sun once argued the band "render[s] country music all but indistinguishable from pop" and thus "trivializes some of country's most hallowed traditions."[29] Indeed, reviewers such as Wolff consider the band's "overriding problem" their calculated sound, which leads many contemporary music critics to label the band mediocre.[17]

Philanthropy

Beginning in 1982 and continuing until 1997, Alabama sponsored the June Jam, a music festival in Fort Payne, which at its peak drew 60,000 fans and raised millions for local charities.[44] The group also held "Fan Appreciation Days," weekend events that included a golf tournament and a songwriters concert that raised money for charities in Fort Payne.[10] Owen spearheaded "Country Cares for Kids," an annual country radiothon that raised over $70 million for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.[10]

Band members

Current members

Former members

  • Mark Herndon – drums, percussion (1979–2004)
  • Rick Scott – drums, percussion (1974–79)
  • Bennett Vartanian – drums, percussion (1972–74)
  • Jackie Owen – drums, percussion (1969–72)

Timeline

Discography

Albums

Studio albums

Number one singles

Alabama amassed over 40 number one hit singles (on a variety of industry charts) and 12 top-10 albums, including ten that peaked at number one on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart. The group had 33 number ones on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart,[45] which are as follows:[46]

See also

Notes

References

  1. ^ Estes, Cary (October 3, 2014). "Teddy Gentry of the group Alabama will sing his songs and tell stories behind them at Samford University". The Birmingham News. Archived from the original on December 17, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  2. ^ "After 14 years, Alabama is back with 'Southern Drawl'". USA Today. July 27, 2015. Archived from the original on December 22, 2017. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Erlewine et al. 1997, p. 6.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Stambler & Landon 2000, p. 5.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Erlewine et al. 1997, p. 4.
  6. ^ a b c d Mansfield, Brian (April 5, 2013). "On the Road Again: Alabama celebrates 40 years". USA Today. Archived from the original on October 2, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d e f McCall, Rumble & Kingsbury 2012, p. 5.
  8. ^ a b c Flippo, Chip (August 29, 1998). "Alabama: The Billboard Interview". Billboard. New York City: Prometheus Global Media. 110 (35). ISSN 0006-2510.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Watts, Cindy (August 23, 2013). "Alabama is back, and it feels so right". The Tennessean. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 6, 2014.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Price, Deborah Evans (August 29, 1998). "Can't Keep a Good Band Down". Billboard. New York City: Prometheus Global Media. 110 (35): 46–48. ISSN 0006-2510.
  11. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. pp. 19–20. ISBN 0-89820-177-2.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Allen, Sharon (October 30, 1982). "Chart Fax: Alabama Does It Again: 'Close Enough' Hits Top". Billboard. New York City: Prometheus Global Media. 94 (43): 43. ISSN 0006-2510.
  13. ^ a b Wells, Robyn (December 13, 1980). "Alabama Makes Its Mark". Billboard. New York City: Prometheus Global Media. 92 (50). ISSN 0006-2510.
  14. ^ Whitburn, Joel. The Billboard Book of Top Pop Albums 1955–1985, Record Research Inc., 1985, p. 11, 493.
  15. ^ a b c d e Roland, Tom (1991). The Billboard Book of Number One Country Hits. New York: Billboard Books, Watson-Guptill Publications. ISBN 0-8230-7553-2.
  16. ^ a b "Alabama – Chart history – Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on July 3, 2015. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  17. ^ a b c d Wolff, Kurt. (2000). Country Music: The Rough Guide. Rough Guides, 608 pp. First edition, 2000.
  18. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Christmas in the Charts (1920–2004). Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 17. ISBN 0-89820-161-6.
  19. ^ a b c d "Alabama – Gold & Platinum Certifications". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. Archived from the original on September 5, 2013. Retrieved July 6, 2014.
  20. ^ "'Alabama Christmas' Album Getting Very Merry Push". Billboard. New York City: Prometheus Global Media. 94 (43): 61; 64. October 12, 1985. ISSN 0006-2510.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g "Alabama – Chart history – Hot Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on July 9, 2015. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  22. ^ "Lionel Richie singles". Allmusic. Retrieved November 27, 2011.
  23. ^ a b c d e f Stambler & Landon 2000, p. 6.
  24. ^ Peterson, Richard A. (1997). Creating Country Music: Fabricating Authenticity. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 320 pp. First edition, 1997.
  25. ^ Erlewine et al. 1997, p. 5.
  26. ^ a b c d e Carlin, Richard. (2002). Country Music: A Biographical Dictionary. London: Routledge, 540 pp. First edition, 2002.
  27. ^ a b c d "Best of 1993: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on December 11, 2007. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  28. ^ a b Stambler & Landon 2000, p. 7.
  29. ^ a b Kingsbury 2004, p. 8.
  30. ^ Price, Deborah Evans (December 9, 2000). "Alabama's Latest, 'When It All Goes South', Due Jan. 2001 on RCA". Billboard. New York City: Prometheus Global Media. 112 (50): 65. ISSN 0006-2510.
  31. ^ Waddell, Ray (June 8, 2002). "Venue Views: Goodbye Alabama". Billboard. New York City: Prometheus Global Media. 114 (23): 20. ISSN 0006-2510.
  32. ^ Waddell, Ray (July 19, 2003). "Alabama Tour Fares Well". Billboard. New York City: Prometheus Global Media. 115 (29): 16. ISSN 0006-2510.
  33. ^ McCall, Rumble & Kingsbury 2012, p. 7.
  34. ^ Holden, Larry (December 16, 2003). "On the Road Again". Country Weekly. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014.
  35. ^ "Farewell, Alabama ... For Now". Country Weekly. October 20, 2004. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014.
  36. ^ a b Watts, Cindy (August 23, 2013). "Alabama's Randy Owen says drummer Mark Herndon wasn't invited to reunion". The Tennessean. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 6, 2014.
  37. ^ a b "Country group Alabama sues drummer for $200K". USA Today. June 7, 2008. Archived from the original on December 10, 2011.
  38. ^ Hackett, Vernell (April 5, 2013). "Country band Alabama back on road, 10 years after saying goodbye". Reuters. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 6, 2014.
  39. ^ "Alabama Announce 'Southern Drawl,' First Album of New Songs in 14 Years". The Boot. July 28, 2015. Archived from the original on July 31, 2015.
  40. ^ News, A. B. C. (22 September 2016). "30 Country Music Stars Join Forces for Historic CMA Music Video". ABC News. Archived from the original on 30 July 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  41. ^ "Alabama's Jeff Cook Announces Parkinson's Diagnosis". EW.com. 2017-04-11. Archived from the original on 2017-04-11. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  42. ^ a b c Erlewine et al. 1997, p. 3.
  43. ^ Kazek, Kelly (2014-01-22). "10 weird and wonderful roadside memorials to musicians in Alabama (Odd Travels with photos)". The Birmingham News. Archived from the original on 2014-05-13. Retrieved 2014-05-10.
  44. ^ a b c McCall, Rumble & Kingsbury 2012, p. 6.
  45. ^ a b c Trust, Gary (November 24, 2014). "This week in Billboard chart history". Billboard. Archived from the original on December 28, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  46. ^ "Alabama - Chart history : Hot Country songs". Billboard. Retrieved January 3, 2015.

Sources

External links

16 Biggest Hits (Alabama album)

16 Biggest Hits is a 2007 Alabama compilation album. It is part of a series of similar 16 Biggest Hits albums released by Legacy Recordings. It has sold 384,000 copies in the US as of May 2013.

Alabama discography

Alabama is a country music band composed of Randy Owen, Jeff Cook, Teddy Gentry, and Mark Herndon. Its discography comprises 26 studio albums, including 20 recorded for RCA Records. Alabama also charted 77 songs on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, of which 34 reached number one. The band's longest-lasting number one was "Jukebox in My Mind", which spent four weeks at that position in 1990. Several of the band's early-1980s releases also crossed over to the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks charts, including "Love in the First Degree", "Take Me Down", and "The Closer You Get", all of which reached top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Famous Maroon Band

The Famous Maroon Band is the name of the marching band at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi. The Maroon Band plays at all Mississippi State home football games and sends at least a pep band to a majority of the football away games. Typically, the full band also travels to bowl games, the Egg Bowl against the University of Mississippi, and at least one other away game per season. The band was formally established in 1902 at what was then called Mississippi A&M College and was a military band, as was the college at the time.

For the Record

For the Record is a two-disc, 44-track greatest hits package released by the American country music band Alabama.

The album chronicles the biggest hits from Alabama released between 1980 and 1998. The lineup includes all 33 of their Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles & Tracks No. 1 singles, as well as other songs which reached number one on the former Radio & Records (now Mediabase) charts; each of the non-Billboard No. 1 hits made the top 5 on that chart.

Three new tracks are also included. Of these, "How Do You Fall in Love" reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart in late 1998. The follow-up single, "Keepin' Up", reached the Top 20 in early 1999, while "Five O'Clock 500" was not released as a single.

All of the greatest hits are presented in their single/radio edit forms; in some cases, the songs were nearly two minutes shorter than their original album versions.

Greatest Hits (Alabama album)

Greatest Hits is the first greatest hits package released by the American country music band Alabama. The album was released by RCA Records in 1986, and has since been certified platinum for sales of 5 million units by the Recording Industry Association of America.By the mid-1980s, Alabama had become the most dominant act in country music. During the first half of the decade, the Fort Payne, Alabama-based group had 18 No. 1 songs in as many single releases (discounting their 1982 Christmas single, "Christmas in Dixie"). They had released six multi-platinum albums and had won many awards from the Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music.

Alabama's first greatest hits album includes eight of their hit singles; seven of those reached No. 1 on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart between 1980 and 1985. The eighth song of that group was "My Home's in Alabama", widely considered by fans to be their signature tune (despite only reaching No. 17).

Extended live concert versions of "My Home's in Alabama" and "Tennessee River", recorded at June Jam in 1985, are presented on this album. The album-length versions of "Why, Lady, Why" and "Mountain Music" are also included, as opposed to their respective single/radio edits. The version of "She and I" included here (complete with false fade-out toward the end of the song) runs more than five minutes, nearly 1½ minutes longer than the single edit.

The album contains two new tracks. Of these, "She and I" was the only single release, and it became the band's 19th No. 1 song in April 1986. The other song, "The Fans", is Alabama's ode of thanks to their fans.

Greatest Hits Vol. III (Alabama album)

Greatest Hits Vol. III is the third greatest hits package released by the American country music band Alabama. The album was released by RCA Records in 1994, and has since been certified double platinum for sales of 2 million units by the Recording Industry Association of America [2].

Alabama had continued success through the first half of the 1990s, enabling the Fort Payne, Alabama-based band to issue their third album of greatest hits. Included in this 11-track album are eight previous No. 1 hits, including the original single version of "Tennessee River" (an extended live version was included on their first Greatest Hits collection). A holiday/Christian-themed fan favorite, "Angels Among Us", is also included.

Both of the album's new tracks were released as singles: "We Can't Love Like This Anymore" (late 1994) and "Give Me One More Shot" (early 1995). Both songs reached the Top 10 of Billboard magazine's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.

Greatest Hits Vol. II (Alabama album)

Greatest Hits Vol. II is the second greatest hits package released by the American country music band Alabama. The album was released by RCA Records in 1991, and has since been certified platinum for sales of 1 million units by the Recording Industry Association of America.As with Alabama's first greatest hits album, Greatest Hits Vol. II includes many of the band's biggest hits of the 1980s, a decade in which they sold millions of albums, had 26 No. 1 singles on Billboard magazine's Hot Country Singles chart and won the "Entertainer of the Decade" honor from the Academy of Country Music. Seven of the album's 10 songs went to No. 1 between 1982–1989; three of them – "Take Me Down", "Dixieland Delight" and "Roll On (Eighteen Wheeler)" – are presented here in their original album-length versions, while "The Closer You Get" is presented in its single-edit form and "Fallin' Again" in its shorter LP edit.

Two of the album's three new tracks were released as singles, "Then Again" and "Born Country", both of which were top 5 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.

Guntersville, Alabama

Guntersville (previously known as Gunter's Ferry and later Gunter's Landing) is a city and the county seat of Marshall County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census, the population of the city was 8,197. Guntersville is located in a HUBZone as identified by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

The 2014 Bassmaster Classic was held on Lake Guntersville, which is part of Guntersville.

Jeff Cook

Jeffery A. Cook (born August 27, 1949) is an American musician and songwriter who is best known as one of the founding members of the country band Alabama.

List of songs recorded by Alabama

Alabama is an American country, southern rock and bluegrass band that has recorded nineteen studio albums, including sixteen for RCA Nashville, as well as two Christmas albums and two Christian music albums. Formed in Fort Payne, Alabama in 1969, the band was founded by Randy Owen (lead vocals, rhythm guitar) and his cousin Teddy Gentry (bass guitar, background vocals), soon joined by their other cousin, Jeff Cook (lead guitar, fiddle, keyboards). Alabama's biggest success came in the 1980s, where the band had over 27 number one hits, seven multi-platinum albums and received numerous awards. Alabama's first single on RCA Nashville, "Tennessee River", began a streak of number one singles, including "Love in the First Degree" (1981), "Mountain Music" (1982), "Dixieland Delight" (1983), "If You're Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)" (1984) and "Song of the South" (1987). Alabama's main members — Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry, and Jeff Cook — wrote or co-wrote a significant amount of material in their catalogue, which was considered unusual for country musicians at that time. Contributing songwriter Greg Fowler is credited on 72 Alabama songs, followed by Ronnie Rogers at 68. The group has recorded 260 songs (65 of which are singles), which include original compositions, cover songs, collaborations with artists such as Lionel Richie and Brad Paisley.

My Home's in Alabama (song)

"My Home's in Alabama" is a song written by Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry, and recorded by American country music band Alabama. It was released in January 1980 as the second single and title track from the album My Home's in Alabama.

In the years since its release, "My Home's in Alabama" became widely considered as the song that sparked the band's rise to eventual superstardom.

Old Alabama

"Old Alabama" is a song co-written and recorded by American country music singer Brad Paisley, featuring guest vocals from the band Alabama. It was released in March 2011 as second single from Paisley's 2011 album This Is Country Music.

The American Farewell Tour

The American Farewell Tour is a compilation album by American country music band Alabama, released in 2003. Although titled as The American Farewell Tour, a tour that Alabama undertook in 2003, the album is actually a compilation of songs released by Alabama over the years.The album peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. The album has sold 497,200 copies in the United States as of April 2017.

The Essential Alabama

The Essential Alabama was a compilation album that chronicled the music of the country music band Alabama. Issued as part of BMG International's "The Essential" series, the album was released in June 1998.

As with other albums issued in "The Essential" series, the Alabama volume chronicled the music offered from the peak of the band's phenomenal 1980s success. The liner notes include a biography and detailed information about each of the 16 songs featured on the album.

Unlike their previous "greatest hits" compilations, Alabama's The Essential Alabama was not strictly a greatest-hits package, a point on which some reviewers picked up [1]. As with other volumes in "The Essential" series, the Alabama contained album tracks and songs that had not previously been issued. Four such tracks are present here: "Very Special Love", "As Right Now", "The Fans" and "I Showed Her".

Of the 12 songs that had been released as singles, 10 of those reached No. 1 on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts during the 1980s. The two other singles were 1980's "My Home's in Alabama" (peaked at No. 17, featured here in its radio-edit version) and 1987's "Tar Top" (the song that broke Alabama's string of 21-straight No. 1 singles when it peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard country charts).

The Ultimate Alabama

Ultimate Alabama: 20 #1 Hits is a compilation album by American country music band Alabama, released in 2004.The album debuted at No. 52 on the Billboard 200, and No. 10 on Top Country Albums in its first week of release. The album has sold 755,100 copies in the United States as of April 2017.

West Arkeen

Aaron West Arkeen (June 18, 1960 – May 30, 1997), was an American musician best known for co-writing several Guns N' Roses songs. He died in Los Angeles as a result of a drug overdose.

Why Lady Why

"Why Lady Why" is a song written by Teddy Gentry and Rick Scott, and recorded by American country music band Alabama. It was released in August 1980 as the fourth and final single from the album My Home's in Alabama. The song was the group's second No. 1 song on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart.

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