More than 50 years ago a trio of young cousins left the cotton farms of Fort Payne, Alabama, to the summer playing in a Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, bar called The Bowery. It took Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry and Jeff Cook six long years of tip jars and word of mouth to earn the major label deal they’d been dreaming of, but then seemingly it took no time at all to change the face of country music. 

“I don’t think we thought too far ahead,” said Cook of the early days and their humble beginnings. “We were more concerned with paying our bills at the end of the week and playing music.” 

In 1980 the band broke through with their first Top 20 hit “My Home’s In Alabama.” They reeled off 21 straight No. 1 singles – a record that may never be equaled in any genre. The group brought youthful energy, sex appeal and a rocking edge that broadened country’s audience and opened the door to self-contained bands from then on. They undertook a journey that led to more than 80 million albums sold. Their age-proof music can be heard today as a part of every cover band’s set list in nearly every college town in America.  

“I was in Nashville, walking by this club full of young people…I’m talking 18 or 20,” Gentry recalled a memory that demonstrates the timeliness of their music. “The band started playing ‘Dixieland Delight’ and everybody in the place started singing and sang all the way through. I had to smile at the longevity of the songs. Half the crowd at our shows is young people, under 25 years old. So I think that’s a tribute to the fact that we spent a career putting out good songs that stand the test of time.”  

Quality songs that have become the soundtrack for American life are the foundation for ALABAMA’s stellar career. The group introduced rock style guitars, lights, pyrotechnics and sounds to the country audience that has inspired many of today’s brightest country stars. 

While their musical legacy continues to thrive, their numbers and stats are beyond compare. They have charted 43 No. 1 and won more than 200 industry awards and still counting. They’ve earned 21 Gold, Platinum and Multi-Platinum albums and were named the RIAA’s Country Group of the Century.
They are members of the Country Music Hall of Fame and have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They are also world-class philanthropists who have raised more than $800 million for charity.  

“We never thought playing for tips at The Bowery that more than 50 years later we would still be playing arenas, stadiums and festivals,” says Owen. “Teddy, Jeff and I are humbled at the amount of fans that are coming out to see us. We are finding out that we are playing to three generations of fans who have followed us and our music from day one. The fans are the ones responsible for our continued success on the road and we love them.” 

The ALABAMA Headquarters, located in Fort Payne at 101 Glenn Boulevard SW, is home to the ALABAMA Museum, warehouse, promotion and production offices and the ALABAMA Fan Club membership offices. The ALABAMA Museum’s remodeled, state of the art facility features more than five decades of music memorabilia.

“From the early days in Myrtle Beach to the Country Music Hall of Fame, people of all ages enjoy this experience and the story of ALABAMA’s history,” said Mary Jones manager of the museum. “The museum includes many personal items, videos, pictures, awards and gifts from other artists never before seen in public until now.”

ALABAMA Headquarters, located in Fort Payne at 101 Glenn Boulevard SW, is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 1-5 p.m. The museum closes one hour prior to the Fan Club gift shop closing. There’s no charge to browse the gift shop, while admission to the museum is $10 per person. Group rates, senior and military discounts are available. 
Call 256-845-1646 or visit for more information.