Alabama came together in the early 1970’s, when Teddy Gentry, Randy Owen, Jeff Cook, and Mark Herndon came together in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Initially, the band played everything from rock to country to R&B, and their constant playing together eventually paid off. Alabama secured a record contract in 1979, being among the first country-oriented bands to do so at the time.
“Tennessee River” was the single that started the string of hits from Alabama which ran steadily through the 1980’s and beyond. With “Tennessee River,” Alabama became the first country band to top the charts, and they repeated it again with “Why Lady Why.” “Old Flame” was equally successful, and by the time they embarked on their 1981 tour, Alabama had changed the future of country-rock by snagging three number one hits.
A countless string of hits followed over the course of the next few decades, including: “Feels So Right” (1981), “Love in the First Degree” (1981), “Mountain Music” (1982), “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)” (1984), “When We Make Love” (1984), “Roll On (18 Wheeler)” (1984), “Forty Hour Week (for a Livin’)” (1985), “There’s No Way” (1985), “(You’ve Got) The Touch” (1987), “Song of the South” (1989), “High Cotton” (1989), “Take Me Down” (1982), “The Closer You Get” (1983), “(There’s a) Fire in the Night” (1985), “Close Enough to Perfect” (1982), “Can’t Keep a Good Man Down” (1985) and “Lady Down on Love” (1983.) By the end of the 1980’s, Alabama had earned the title Artist of the Decade, awarded by the Academy of Country Music. The group entered the next decade with another series of hits, including “I’m in a Hurry (and Don’t Know Why)” (1992), “Reckless” (1993), “She Ain’t Your Ordinary Girl” (1994), and “Give Me One More Shot” (1994.)
Alabama disbanded in the new millennium but then reunited in 2011, performing at the Bama Rising benefit. In 2014, Alabama released the album Angels Among Us: Hymns and Gospel Favorites, and then in 2015, their latest studio album, Southern Drawl, arrived. Today, Alabama continues to perform and record with the current lineup of Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry, and Jeff Cook. Today, Alabama is regarded as one of the best selling bands of all time, with more than seventy-five million records sold. Alabama has been inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.