ALABAMA REIGNS SUPREME ON BILLBOARD MAGAZINE’S GREATEST OF ALL TIME COUNTRY ALBUMS CHART

ALABAMA REIGNS SUPREME ON BILLBOARD MAGAZINE’S GREATEST OF ALL TIME COUNTRY ALBUMS CHART ALABAMA LEADS THE PACK WITH SIX ALBUMS ON THE TOP 100 CHART GRAMMY® award winning band ALABAMA continues to reign supreme, posting six albums on Billboard’s Greatest of All Time Country Albums Chart. Reminding us once again, of the undeniable fact, that ALABAMA continues to hold the title of Best Selling Country Band Of All Time, garnering album sales and weeks spent at #1 on the Billboard album chart that remains untouchable, even by country giants. With half a dozen albums making the Top 100, the band posted more albums on the chart than any other artist in the genre. Other chart standouts include Garth Brooks with five albums, along with Taylor Swift, Kenny Rogers, Tim McGraw, and Waylon Jennings who each posted four albums on the chart. Known as trailblazers that helped to redefine the country genre, ALABAMA helped popularize country music bringing it from side-stage to the main-stage in the minds of Americans. By merging rock style guitars, sounds and pyrotechnics with country lyrics, ALABAMA revolutionized the sound of country music in w ays still echoed today by the likes of Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Eli Young Band, Kenny Chesney, Florida Georgia Line and Zac Brown Band, who count ALABAMA among their influences. Albums included on Billboard’s Greatest of all time Country Albums Chart: #19 – ALABAMA – Feels So Right #30 – ALABAMA – Mountain Music #61 – ALABAMA – The Closer You Get #68 – ALABAMA – 40 Hour Week #69 – ALABAMA – Roll On #76 – ALABAMA – The Greatest Hits Billboard has based the chart numbers on weekly performance on their Top Country Albums Chart (from its 1/11/1964 1964 inception through 6/4/2016). Titles are ranked based on an inverse point system. Weeks spent at #1 earn the highest point value, while weeks spent lower on the chart earn fewer points. Due to changes in chart methodology, eras are weighted differently to account for chart turnover rates over various periods. To read the complete list click here.  

Alabama Receive Award at American Country Awards

Alabama to Receive Honor at 2011 ACAs. Iconic country group, Alabama are set to receive a special award, the Greatest Hits Award, at the 2011 American Country Awards. The band is also scheduled to join the line-up of performers for the television special. Many fans complained about the lack of “real country” at the 2011 CMAs. Perhaps, the ACAs are trying to answer this complaint by refocusing on more traditional country music. Just a thought. The 2011 ACAs will feature Kristen Chenoweth and Trace Adkins as hosts, and will air live on Monday, December 5th at 8pm ET on Fox. The list of performers so far includes both hosts as well as Blake Shelton, Pistol Annies, Thompson Square, Eli Young Band, The Band Perry, Scotty McCreery, Miranda Lambert and Lauren Alaina.

Alabama Announces Bama Rising Benefit Concert

Alabama to Host Bama Rising Benefit Concert to Support Tornado Recovery. Alabama is spearheading efforts for the event “Bama Rising: A Benefit Concert for Alabama Tornado Recovery” intended to aid victims of the tornadoes which raged through the area on April 27th. Sponsored by Verizon, the concert will take place June 14th at Birmingham’s BJCC Arena. This concert is set to be an all-star event with several of country’s brightest slated to perform including Brad Paisley and Martina McBride (a complete list of performers is included below). “My hope is that this will bring happiness and help to my fellow citizens in Alabama. I believe it’s extremely important that we do this benefit, and I want everyone in the state to feel like they are part of it. I hope we all can pull together to help get through the worst natural disaster I’ve ever seen in Alabama. I appreciate my friends in country music, everyone that’s been involved, and anyone that’s helped in any way.”- Randy Owens on behalf of Alabama A Bama Rising Fund has been established in conjunction with the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. All decision regarding the proceeds from the concert and any other contributions made to the Fund will be made by an advisory committee including representatives of the artists, promoters and the Community Foundation. Tickets will be available Friday, May 20th at 11:00am CST and range in price from $25- $150. The complete list of performers is as follows: Alabama Rodney Atkins Dierks Bentley Bo Bice Luke Bryan Sheryl Crow Sara Evans Taylor Hicks Little Big Town Martina McBride Montgomery Gentry David Nail Jake Owen Brad Paisley Kellie Pickler Darius Rucker Ashton Shepherd For more information and details click here.

About Alabama

Before Alabama, bands were usually relegated to a to help promote role in country material. In the first part of the century, bands were popular with audiences across the country, but as recordings became available, nearly every successful recording artist was a vocalist, not a group. Alabama was the group that made country bands popular again. burgeoning in the late ’70s, the group had roots in both country and rock; in fact, many of Alabama’s musical concepts, particularly the idea of a playing band, owed more to rock and pop than hardcore country. However, there is no denying that Alabama is a country lineup — the bandmembers’ pop instincts may come from rock, but their harmonies, songwriting, and approach are indebted to country, particularly the Bakersfield sound of Merle Haggard, bluegrass, and the sound of Nashville pop. A sleek, country-rock sound made the group the most successful country lineup in history, selling more records than any other artist of the ’80s and earning stacks of awards.

First cousins Randy Owen (born December 14, 1949; lead vocal, rhythm guitar) and Teddy Gentry (born January 22, 1952; vocals, bass) form the core of Alabama. Owen and Gentry grew up on separate cotton farms on Lookout Mountain in Alabama, but the twosome learned how to play guitar together; the duo also had sung in church together before they were six years old. On their own, Gentry and Owen played in a number of different bands while the ’60s, performing country, bluegrass, and pop on different occasions. during high school, the duo teamed with another cousin, Jeff Cook (born August 27, 1949; lead guitar, vocals, keyboards, fiddle), to form Young Country in 1969. Before joining his cousins, Cook had played in a number of bands and was a rock & roll DJ. Young Country’s first gig was at a high-school talent contest; performing a Merle Haggard song, the group won first prize — a trip to the Grand Ole Opry. However, the lineup was fairly inactive as Owen and Cook went to college.

After Owen and Cook graduated from college, they moved with Gentry to Anniston, AL, with the intention of keeping the group together. Sharing an apartment, the lineup practiced at night and performed manual labor during the day. They changed their name to Wildcountry in 1972, adding drummer Bennet Vartanian to the band. The not long after year, they made the decision to become professional musicians, quitting their jobs and performing a number of bars in the Southeast. during this time, they started writing their own songs, which included “My Home’s in Alabama.” Vartanian exited soon after the lineup turned professional; after losing four more drummers, Rick Scott was added to the lineup in 1974.

Wildcountry changed its name to Alabama in 1977, the same year the group signed a one-record signed deal with GRT. The resulting single, “I Wanna Be With You Tonight,” was a minor success, peaking in the Top 80. Nevertheless, the single’s performance was an indication that Alabama was one of the most successful bands in the Southeast; at the end of the decade, the lineup was playing over 300 shows a year. After “I Wanna Be With You Tonight,” the lineup borrowed $4,000 from a Fort Payne bank, using the money to album and release its own records, which were sold at shows. When GRT declared bankruptcy a year after the release of “I Wanna Be With You Tonight,” the bandmembers discovered that they were forbidden from recording with another label because of a hidden clause in their record deal. For two years, Alabama raised money to buy out its record deal. In 1979, the band was finally able to begin recording again. That same year, Scott left the band. Scott was took the place by Mark Herndon, a former rock drummer who helped give Alabama its signature sound.

Later in 1979, Alabama self-recorded and released an album, hiring an independent album promoter to help get radio play for the single “I Wanna Come Over.” The group also sent hundreds of hand-written letters to program directors and DJs across the country. “I Wanna Come Over” gained the attention of MDJ Records, a small label based in Dallas. MDJ released the single, and it reached number 33 on the charts. In 1980, MDJ released “My Home’s in Alabama,” which made it into the Top 20. Based on the single’s success, Alabama performed at the Country music New Faces show, where the group was spotted by an RCA Records talent scout, who signed the ensemble after the show.

Alabama released its first RCA single, “Tennessee River,” late in 1980. Produced by Harold Shedd, the song began a remarkable streak of 21 number one smashes (interrupted by the 1982 holiday single “Christmas in Dixie”), which ran until 1987; after one number seven hit, the streak resumed for another six singles, resulting in a total of 27 number one singles during the decade. Taken alone, the amount of chart-topping singles is proof of Alabama’s popularity, but the lineup also won numerous awards, had seven multi-platinum albums, and crossed over to the pop charts nine times while the ’80s.

In the ’90s, their popularity declined somewhat, yet they were still having hit singles and gold and platinum units with regularity. Even after their dissolution in 2003, it’s unlikely that any other country ensemble will be able to surpass the success of Alabama.