How about ya, Alabama, roll on.
The most successful band in country music history, Alabama, is gearing up for the opening of their Country Music Hall of Fame exhibit later this month. The new exhibit, Alabama: Song of the South, will highlight the group’s rise to stardom and feature stage wear, instruments, awards, mementos, photographs and more. The exhibits is slated to open on Aug. 26 and run through July 2017.
Formed by cousins Jeff Cook, Teddy Gentry and Randy Owen in 1977—with the addition of drummer Mark Herndon in 1979—the band signed with RCA in 1980 and blazed a trail of country music success, selling tens of millions of albums and earning a bevy of awards, culminating with their induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005.
Exhibit highlights include:
- Jeff Cook’s first electric guitar, a 1960s Silvertone U-1, that he played in his first band
- Randy Owen’s Music Man Sting Ray I, used to write hits such as “Mountain Music.” and played by Brad Paisley when he recorded his tribute to the group, “Old Alabama”
- Original, handwritten manuscript for “Born Country,” by Byron Hill and John Schweers
- Table-top radio that belonged to Teddy Gentry’s grandfather, “Paw Paw,” on which Gentry heard country music growing up
- Numerous awards, including Grammy, ACM, and CMA trophies presented to Alabama
- Gibson J-50 acoustic guitar that belonged to Randy Owen’s father, used by Owen on early recordings
- Brocade suit, one of Jeff Cook’s first stage costumes
- Fringed suede shirt, given to Gentry by William Lee Golden of the Oak Ridge Boys at Alabama’s first June Jam, 1982
The Hall of Fame is currently featuring exhibits on Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley and Zac Brown Band.
photo courtesy Hot Schatz PR