Today in Country Music, May 4th, featuring Alabama
Today in Country Music Friday, May 4
On this day in 2011, Thompson Square gathered with friends on music row in Nashville to celebrate the #1 success of their song, "Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not."
Today in 2004, Kenny Chesney found out he had sold four million copies of his album No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems.
Dolly Parton And Ricky Van Shelton scored a number one song with "Rockin' years" today in 1991.
And on this day in 1985, Alabama added another #1 single to their collection with "there's no way."
Alabama was founded in 1969 by Randy Owen (lead vocals, Rhythm Guitar) and his cousin Teddy Gentry (bass guitar, background vocals), soon joined by Jeff Cook (Lead Guitar, fiddle, keyboards). In 1973, after Owen's graduation from Jacksonville State University, they gave up their day jobs and weekend gigs. The group, formerly known as "Wildcountry", left Fort Payne and Lookout Mountain to explore the possibilities of the club scene in surrounding coastal South Carolina. 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. Since its change in name in 1972, Alabama has included Owen, Cook and Gentry. Mark Herndon was not the original drummer but was a member of the band throughout their period of fame and chart success.
The band's blend of traditional country music and southern rock combined with elements of gospel music, and 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.
Alabama was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005.
The band parted ways with drummer Mark Herndon in 2008 during a very public and nasty lawsuit.
Alabama returned to the studio in 2010 to record “Are You Sure Hank Done It That Way” as part of a Waylon Jennings tribute album. 'The Music Inside—A Collaboration Dedicated To Waylon Jennings Vol. I,' which hit shelves in February 2011.
The band reunited in 2011, playing with Brad Paisley on his single, "Old Alabama" and playing the Bama Rising benefit. Alabama played the song live with Brad Paisley at the ACM Awards in Vegas. Images of drummer Mark Herndon were cropped out of band photos that were displayed on the large TV screens during the performance.
Jeff Cook told the press in 2011 that the Farewell Tour didn't end right. The band ended its farewell tour in North Dakota. Cook hinted at a possible reunion and new album in 2012, wanting the band to play its final show in Alabama.