Alabama Guitar Chords



Before Alabama, bands were usually relegated to a supporting role in country music. In the first part of the century, bands were popular with audiences across the country, but as recordings became available, nearly every popular recording artist was a vocalist, not a group. Alabama was the group that made country bands popular again. Emerging in the late '70s, the band had roots in both country and rock; in fact, many of Alabama's musical concepts, particularly the idea of a performing band, owed more to rock and pop than hardcore country. However, there is no denying that Alabama is a country band -- 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 popular country group 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 pair learned how to play guitar together; the duo had also sung in church together before they were six years old. On their own, Gentry and Owen played in a number of different bands during the '60s, playing 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 band won first prize -- a trip to the Grand Ole Opry. However, the group was fairly inactive as Owen and Cook went to college.

After Owen and Cook graduated from college, they moved with Gentry to Anniston, Alabama, with the intention of keeping the band together. Sharing an apartment, the band practiced at night and performed manual labor during the day. They changed their name to Wildcountry in 1972, adding drummer Bennett Vartanian to the lineup. The following year, they made the decision to become professional musicians, quitting their jobs and playing a number of bars in the Southeast. During this time, they began writing their own songs, including "My Home's in Alabama." Vartanian left soon after the band 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 band signed a one-record contract 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 popular bands in the Southeast; at the end of the decade, the band was playing over 300 shows a year. After "I Wanna Be with You Tonight," the group borrowed $4,000 from a Fort Payne bank, using the money to record 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 contract. For two years, Alabama raised money to buy out their contract. In 1979, the group was finally able to begin recording again. That same year, Scott left the band. Scott was replaced by Mark Herndon, a former rock drummer who helped give Alabama their signature sound.

Later in 1979, Alabama self-recorded and released an album, hiring an independent record promoter to help get radio play for the single "I Wanna Come Over." The band also sent hundreds of handwritten 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 band was spotted by an RCA Records talent scout, who signed the group 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 hits (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 band also won numerous awards, had seven multi-platinum albums, and crossed over to the pop charts nine times during the '80s.

In the '90s, their popularity declined somewhat, yet they were still having hit singles and gold and platinum albums with regularity, and it's unlikely that any other country group will be able to surpass the success of Alabama. The group disbanded in 2006 following a farewell tour and two albums of gospel , 2006's Songs of Inspiration and 2007's Songs of Inspiration, Vol. 2, but reunited in 2011. A third gospel album, Angels Among Us: Hymns & Gospel Favorites, was released by Gaither Music in 2014. In September 2015, Alabama further sealed the relaunch of their career, delivering Southern Drawl, their first album of all new material in 14 years. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
Genres: contemporary country, country, country road, country rock, traditional country

Guitar Chords:

5 Oclock 500
A Candle In The Window
Alabama Sky
Alabama Sky (ver. 2)
A Little More Time On You
All American
American Pride
American Pride (ver. 2)
Angels Among Us
Angels Among Us (ver. 2)
As Right Now
Born Country
Born Country (ver. 2)
Cant Forget About You
Cant Forget About You (ver. 2)
Cant Keep A Good Man Down
Carolina Mountain Dew
Carolina Mountain Dewe
Changes Coming On
Changes Comin On
Cheap Seats
Christmas In Dixie
Christmas In Dixie (ver. 2)
Christmas In Your Arms
Christmas Is Love
Christmas Memories
Close Enough To Perfect
Close Enough To Perfect (ver. 2)
Closer You Get
Dancing Shagging On The Boulevard
Dancin Shaggin On The Boulevard
Deep River Woman
Dixieland Delight
Dixieland Delight (ver. 2)
Dixieland Delight (ver. 3)
Dixieland Delight (ver. 4)
Dixieland Delight (ver. 5)
Down Home
Down This Road
End Of The Lyin
Face To Face
Face To Face (ver. 2)
Fallin Again
Feels So Right
Feels So Right (ver. 2)
Five Oclock 500
Forevers As Far As Ill Go
Forty Hour Week
Give Me One More Shot
Hanging Up My Travelin Shoes
Hats Off
Hats Off (ver. 2)
Here We Are
High Cotton
Hometown Honeymoon
How Do You Fall In Love
How Do You Fall In Love 2
I Am A Pilgrim
If I Had You
I Found You
If Youre Gonna Play In Texas
If Youre Gonna Play In Texas (ver. 2)
Im In A Hurry
Im In A Hurry (ver. 2)
Im In A Hurry (ver. 3)
Im Stoned
It Works
Jordans Banks
Jukebox In My Mind
Jukebox In My Mind (ver. 2)
Keep On Dreamin
Lady Down On Love
Lift Me Up
Lonesome Valley
Love In The First Degree
Love In The First Degree (ver. 2)
Love Remains
Mountain Music
Mountain Music (ver. 2)
Mountain Music (ver. 3)
My Girl
My Homes In Alabama
Never Be One
Not My Tab
Of Course Im Alright
Old Flame
Old Flame (ver. 2)
Old Flame 2
Old Man
Once Upon A Lifetime
Once Upon A Lifetime (ver. 2)
Pass It On Down
Red River
Roll On
Roll On (ver. 2)
Shaggin On The Blvd
She And I
She Put The Sad In All His Songs
Shes A Lady Down On Love
Shes Got That Look In Her Eyes
Simple As That
Small Stuff
Some Other Place Some Other Time
Song Of The South
Song Of The South (ver. 2)
Song Of The South (ver. 3)
Southern Star
Take A Little Trip
Take Me Down Tonight
Tender Tennessee Christmas
Tennessee River
The Borderline
The Cheap Seats
The End Of The Lyin
The Maker Said Take Her
Then Again
Theres A Fire In The Night
Theres No Way
Thistle Hair The Christmas Bear
Tonight Is Christmas
Touch Me When Were Dancing
Twentieth Century
We Cant Love Like This Anymore
What In The Name Of Love
When We Make Love
Why Lady Why
Why Lady Why (ver. 2)
Why Lady Why (ver. 3)
Will You Marry Me
Will You Marry Me (ver. 2)
Woman Back Home
Words At Twenty Paces
You Cant Take The Country Out Of Me