Alabama









Alabama

Alabama

is an American country and western music group which was formed in Fort Payne, Alabama, in 1969. The members who formed the group were cousins Owen, Gentry, and Cook. They started out as Young Country. Their first gig was a talent contest in high school. They won first place which was a trip to Nashville and The Grand Ole Opry. After Owen and Cook attended college, the band got back together in Anniston, Alabama, in 1972 as WildCountry. In 1973, they decided that music was their first love and went on the road playing in different clubs in the Southeast, giving up their day jobs. They were determined to make music their profession. Within the next four years they changed drummers 5 times. They changed their name to Alabama in 1977 and also landed a contract for one album recording with GRT. They recorded a single called, I Wanna’ Be With You Tonight, hit the top 80 on the charts. The recording studio went bankrupt the following year and the band had to work the following year to buy out their contract before they could record with any other record label. Again their drummer quit so the group (Owen, Gentry, and Cook) recruited, Mark Herndon who was a former rock drummer. These four members stayed for the duration of their career.

In 1979, the group recorded an album by themselves and hired a promoter to help them get radio airplay for their single, I Wanna’ Come Over. MDJ Records in Dallas Texas, agreed to release the single and it reached number 33 on the Billboard’s Country Chart. In 1980, My Home’s In Alabama, reached number 20 on the charts and RCA noticed the group and signed them on. With the help of this big record company, the group shot to the top of the country record charts. In the 1980's the group released 21 top singles that reached number 1. They also released a Christmas single, Christmas In Dixie, which was also a hit.

Alabama has been awarded 2 Grammy Awards for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for their hits, Mountain Music (1982), and The Closer You Get (1983). They also won many Country Music Association Awards. They have received more American Music Awards than any other artist in history. They have had 23 awards, including the Award of Merit. In 2004 they were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and in 2005 they were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In May 2003 and 2004, the group had it’s Farewell Tour across America. They retired after that but have recorded 2 albums containing inspirational music in 2006 and 2007. Jeff Cook went on to team up with Mitch Glenn and formed the duo Cook & Glenn. The group released 34 albums and 75 singles during their career.