From 1979 to 2004, Country Music Hall of Famers Alabama were one of the most successful musical acts in the United States. Millions of fans were drawn to the group’s songs about their southern roots and their love for Fort Payne, DeKalb County, the state of Alabama, and the South. Three cousins—rhythm guitarist Randy Owen, lead guitarist and fiddler Jeff Cook, and bassist Teddy Gentry—played together in high school, and after college in 1977 they became the band Wild Country. In 1979, they changed their name to Alabama and broke onto the national country music scene in the 1980 with the hit single “My Home’s In Alabama.” They were at the top of the country music charts throughout the 80s and during their run had 42 number one singles on the country music charts, sold more than 73 million albums, and won more than 150 industry awards. Alabama won Grammies in 1983 for “Mountain Music” and in 1984 for “The Closer You Get.” The members have always shown their loyalty to the Fort Payne community, championing causes and hosting fundraisers. The Alabama Fan Club and Museum opened in Fort Payne in 1985.

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Encyclopedia of Alabama

Photos courtesy of: Museum Footage, Getty, Alamy