The Alabama band was a double Grammy award winning band from the United States who shot to fame during the 1980s with their blend of country music and southern rock. This article explores the career of a band that achieved a number one hit in the Billboard Country Music charts from 1980 to 1993.
The early days
The Alabama band was founded in 1969 by cousins Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry. The two grew up together in Fort Payne, Alabama and were introduced to music whilst singing at the local church. Owen and Gentry were later joined by their distant cousin Jeff Cook. They performed their first show under the name of Young Country. South Carolina In 1973, after a short break, the three cousins embarked on a professional music career, performing as Wildcountry. They moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where they recruited Mark Herndon on the drums and found a regular gig at The Bowery. The group changed its name in 1977 to Alabama and achieved two top 40 singles with MDJ Records. They then became well-known for their fusion of country, Southern rock and middle-of-the-road pop.
The 1980s and rise fame
On 21 April 1980, Alabama fulfilled a dream by signing with RCA Records, Elvis Presley's label. RCA bought the rights for the band's previously recorded album 'My Home's in Alabama'. The album's re-release amassed four million sales in the first year. The band went on to release an album each year during the 1980s, counting 'Feels So Right',' '40 Hour Week' and 'Southern Star'. Although these albums shot the band to fame and achieved repeated American Music Awards, the members remained humble and never pretended to be anything but a glorified bar band.
The 1990s was an equally busy time for Alabama, recording no less than six studio albums in addition to the Greatest Hits Vol. II and III. While not receiving the same recognition as the albums from the previous decade, many achieved platinum sales and top ten chart positions. By the end of the 1990s, Alabama’s popularity began to wane and they developed a tired sound. Nevertheless, the band continued to be rewarded for their music. They were more appreciated by fans than critics.
The 2000s and Farewell Tour
At the turn of the millennium, Alabama toured far less than in previous years. The recording of the 2001 album 'When It All Goes South', was followed by a 'Farewell Tour' in 2003. This was not to be the end for the fans as Alabama has since released the albums Songs of Inspiration I and II. In 2005, Alabama was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Till today, the band has amassed record sales of over