With their 40th anniversary at hand in 2013, legendary country band Alabama embarked on their first tour in more than a decade and released an officially endorsed tribute album titled "Alabama and Friends." The album features current country stars covering some of Alabama's country-rock classics -- including Kenny Chesney on "Lady Down on Love," Jason Aldean on "Tennessee River," Luke Bryan on "Love in the First Degree," and the Eli Young Band on "The Closer You Get" -- along with two new Alabama songs. It was a fitting tribute for the most successful band in country music history, which logged 34 singles that topped Billboard's country singles chart between 1980 and 2011 and has sold more than 75 million albums. The band's core remains the same as when it was founded in 1969, when they were known as Wildcountry: Randy Owen (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), his cousin Teddy Gentry (bass), and another cousin, Jeff Cook (lead guitar, keyboards, fiddle). By 1973, the trio had decided to pursue music full time and they signed their first record deal -- and changed their name to The Alabama Band at the label's request -- in 1977. By the '80s, the band had hit its stride, moving huge numbers of concert tickets and filling their trophy cases with multiple Grammy, CMA and ACM awards.
Published Aug 18,2014 3:26 PM / Tara Hall
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