Alabama (band)

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Alabama is a Grammy Award-winning country music band that originated in Fort Payne, Alabama, United States. They were the most commercially successful country act in the 1980s and remain one of the bestselling American musical acts of all time. The band is often credited with bringing country music groups (as opposed to solo vocalists) into the mainstream, paving the way for the success of today's top country groups.

The band's blend of traditional country music and southern rock combined with some elements of pop music gave it a crossover appeal that helped lead to their unprecedented 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 Magazine charts to their credit and have sold over 73 million records to date.[1]

Members

History and No. 1 singles

The band was started in 1969 by cousins Owen, Gentry, and Cook as Young Country. Their first gig was playing for a high school talent contest, and they won first prize, a trip to the Grand Ole Opry. After a hiatus for Owen and Cook to attend college, the band reconvened in Anniston, Alabama in 1972 as Wildcountry. In 1973 they made the decision to become professional musicians, quitting their day jobs and playing in various clubs across the Southeast.

The band went through five drummers in the next four years. In 1977 they chose to change their name to Alabama, and the same year signed a one-album recording contract with GRT. Their single, "I Wanna Be With You Tonight", broke the Top 80. GRT declared bankruptcy a year later, and the band was surprised to find that a clause in their contracts forbade them from recording with another label. It took over a year to raise the money to buy out their contract, but in 1979 they were free to record again. However, once again, the band's drummer had quit. Owen, Gentry, and Cook hired Mark Herndon, a former drummer for a rock band, to join the group. These four musicians remained the core of the band for the rest of their career.

In 1979, the band self-recorded an album and hired a promoter to help get radio airplay for their single, "I Wanna Come Over". MDJ Records, a small label based in Dallas, Texas agreed to release the single, which peaked at No. 33 on Billboard's country chart. The follow-up, their signature song, "My Home's in Alabama," reached the Top 20 in March 1980; both songs are on their first album, My Home's in Alabama. The band was noticed by RCA Records and with the marketing and distibution power of their new label behind them, Alabama soon shot to the top of the country record charts.

Alabama was so dominant in the early- and mid-1980s that 21 of their single releases reached No. 1 on Billboard's country singles chart. This streak also included a holiday single called "Christmas in Dixie", which reached the lower regions of the Top 40. However, non-No. 1 Christmas singles are usually disregarded in determining chart-topping streaks, so Alabama is frequently cited as having had the longest streak of consecutive No. 1 singles. (The streak also disregards Lionel Richie's 1987 single, "Deep River Woman", which featured harmony vocals from Alabama and peaked at No. 10.)

The No. 1 hits continued through April 1987, when "(You've Got) 'The Touch'" became their 21st chart-topper. After "Tar Top" peaked at No. 7 in the fall of 1987, Alabama started a new No. 1 string of six straight, and went on to have five more No. 1 hits through 1993's "Reckless."

For the record, the 32 No. 1 songs according to Billboard magazine's country singles chart are as follows (other #1 singles from other trade magazines are not listed here): While 32 songs reached the summit in Billboard magazine, the band's official website acknowledges 41 of its songs reached the top of the various charts (which included Cash Box, Gavin Report, Radio & Records, among others). Conversely, some of the songs that topped Billboard did not necessarily top these other charts. Furthermore, a best-of album, titled For the Record: 41 Number One Hits, was released.

Those songs that went the distance on other charts, but not Billboard (although all were top five hits on the Billboard chart), are "Here We Are" and "Then Again" (1991); "Born Country" and "Take A Little Trip" (1992); "Once Upon a Lifetime" (1993); "Give Me One More Shot," "She Ain't Your Ordinary Girl" and "In Pictures" (1995); "Sad Lookin' Moon" (1997); and "How Do You Fall In Love" (1998).

The band also recorded an original song for the 1985 children's film called "All Together Now". While the song is only heard briefly in the film (on a car radio), it is availible on the film's soundtrack.

In May 2002, the band announced its "Farewell Tour", which took place across the USA during 2003 & 2004. They are now retired from touring, but released two albums of inspirational music in 2006 and 2007.

As of early 2007, Jeff Cook has teamed up with former AllStar Goodtime Band member Mitch Glenn; the two have formed a new duo called Cook & Glenn.[1]

Awards

The group has won two Grammy Awards for "Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal", in 1982 for Mountain Music and in 1983 for The Closer You Get.

The group has won a number of Country Music Association awards, including the "Entertainer of the Year" award in 1982, 1983, and 1984. The group was also won the ACM "Entertainer of the Year" award each year from 1981-1985. They were also recognized by the ACM as "Artists of the Decade" for the 1980s, and in 1999 the band was named Recording Industry Association of America’s “Country Group of the 20th Century.”

The group has collected more American Music Awards than any other artist in history, with 23 wins, including the Award of Merit.

Alabama was inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005.

Giving Back

Although they have achieved superstardom, the men who make up Alabama have never forgotten their roots. From 1982 until 1997, they held an annual "Alabama June Jam" in Fort Payne, Alabama. Proceeds from these events were distributed to various charities and school organizations and have also been used to set up an escrow account which continues to distribute money to worthy causes. Each of the band members is also active in fundraising for a charity of his choice, and several of them have set up their own charitable foundations.

In honor of their good works, the group has been the recipient of the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award, Country Radio Broadcasters' Humanitarian Award, and the Minnie Pearl Humanitarian Award. Alabama was also awarded the B.M.I. President's Trophy for Public Service, which has been awarded only four times (and never before to a group). They were also the inaugural recipients of the "Spirit of Alabama" medal awarded by Governor Bob Riley.

In their live shows, Alabama often made a point of recognizing the men and women in America's Armed Forces. They have volunteered to visit injured soldiers at military hospitals, and have participated in the "Laying of the Wreath" ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. For their efforts, they have been awarded the USO Rising Star Award and the Pentagon 9/11 Medallion.

Musical stylings

Randy always sang lead on all of the group's singles, except for "Mountain Music", where Jeff and Teddy each contribute a line. However, several album cuts featured either Teddy or Jeff singing lead.

Discography

See also

References

1. ^ [2]

External links

Grammy Award

The Grammy awards are named for the trophy: a small, gilded gramophone statuette.
Awarded for Outstanding achievements in the record industry
Presented by National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
Country
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Country music, the first half of Billboard's country and western music category, is a blend of popular musical forms originally found in the Southern United States. It has roots in traditional folk music, Celtic music, blues, gospel music, hokum, and old-time music and
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Fort Payne, Alabama
Location in DeKalb County and the state of Alabama
Coordinates:
Country United States
State Alabama
County DeKalb
Area
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State of Alabama

Flag of Alabama Seal
Nickname(s): Yellowhammer State, Heart of Dixie
Motto(s): Audemus jura nostra defendere

Official language(s) English
Spoken language(s) English 96.
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Motto
"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
Anthem
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Southern rock is a subgenre of rock music. It developed in the Southern United States from rock and roll, country music, and blues, and is focused generally on electric guitar and vocals.
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Crossover is a term applied to musical works and performers that achieve popularity with mainstream audiences beyond the usual listenership of their particular genre. In other words, a crossover song is one that breaks into the mainstream audience, despite a (usually) previous lack
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concert is a live performance, usually of music, before an audience. The music may be performed by a single musician, sometimes then called a recital, or by a musical ensemble, such as an orchestra, a choir, or a musical band. Informal names for a concert include "show" and "gig".
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The term rock concert refers to a musical performance in the style of any one of many genres inspired by "rock and roll" music. While a variety of vocal and instrumental styles can constitute a rock concert, this phenomenon is typically characterized by bands playing at least one
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Billboard is a weekly American magazine devoted to the music industry. It maintains several internationally recognized music charts that track the most popular songs and albums in various categories on a weekly basis.
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Randy Owen (born December 13, 1949 in Fort Payne, Alabama) is the lead singer of country band Alabama.

Biography

Owen grew up on a farm near Fort Payne, Alabama. His parents raised cattle, hogs, chickens, and cotton, and young Randy was often responsible for picking cotton
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rhythm guitar. The rhythm guitar is commonly used to provide a rhythmic complement for the lead guitar, although the actual instruments are interchangeable, and the distinction between the two is fluid.
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Teddy Wayne Gentry (born January 22, 1952) in Fort Payne, Alabama is best known for being in the band Alabama with his cousins Randy Owen and Jeff Cook, along with drummer Mark Herndon.
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The electric bass guitar (or "electric bass") is a bass stringed instrument played with the fingers by plucking, slapping, popping or using a pick. The bass is typically similar in appearance and construction to an electric guitar, but with a larger body, a longer neck and scale
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Jeff Cook (born August 27, 1949) is a member of the country band Alabama with his cousins Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry.

Born Jeffrey Alan Cook in Fort Payne, Alabama, he plays guitar, keyboards, bass guitar, fiddle, banjo, and mandolin and is also a vocalist for the
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keyboard instrument is any musical instrument played using a musical keyboard. The most common of these is the piano, which is used in nearly all forms of western music. Other widely used keyboard instruments include various types of organs as well as other mechanical,
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The electric bass guitar (or "electric bass") is a bass stringed instrument played with the fingers by plucking, slapping, popping or using a pick. The bass is typically similar in appearance and construction to an electric guitar, but with a larger body, a longer neck and scale
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''For the Anne Rice novel, see Violin (novel)


The violin is a bowed string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest and highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which also includes the viola and
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For other uses, see Banjo (disambiguation)


The banjo is a stringed instrument developed by enslaved Africans in the United States, adapted from several African instruments.
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mandolin is a musical instrument which is plucked, strummed or a combination of both. It is descended from the mandora. The most common design as originated in Naples, Italy has eight metal strings in four pairs (courses) that are plucked with a plectrum.
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The Drum kit

1 Bass drum | 2 Floor tom | 3 Snare | 4 Toms | 5 Hi-hat | 6 Crash cymbal and Ride cymbal
Other components
China cymbal | Cowbell | Sizzle cymbal |
Splash cymbal | Swish cymbal |
Tambourine | Wood block | Rototom
A drum kit (or
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percussion instrument is any object which produces a sound by being hit with an implement, shaken, rubbed, scraped, or by any other action which sets the object into vibration. The term usually applies to an object used in a rhythmic context and/or with musical intent.
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The Grand Ole Opry is a weekly Saturday night country music radio program broadcast live on WSM radio in Nashville, Tennessee, and televised on Great American Country network.
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Anniston, Alabama
Nickname: The Model City
Location in Alabama
Coordinates:
Country United States
State Alabama
County Calhoun
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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1940s  1950s  1960s  - 1970s -  1980s  1990s  2000s
1969 1970 1971 - 1972 - 1973 1974 1975

Year 1972 (MCMLXXII
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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1940s  1950s  1960s  - 1970s -  1980s  1990s  2000s
1970 1971 1972 - 1973 - 1974 1975 1976
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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1940s  1950s  1960s  - 1970s -  1980s  1990s  2000s
1974 1975 1976 - 1977 - 1978 1979 1980

Also: 1977 (album) by Ash.

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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1940s  1950s  1960s  - 1970s -  1980s  1990s  2000s
1976 1977 1978 - 1979 - 1980 1981 1982

Also: 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins.

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