AUGUST 12, 2016 – The Alabama: Song Of The South Exhibit opens at the Country Music Hall of Fame on August 25th and runs through June 11, 2017. Alabama was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005. Founding members Cook, Gentry and Owen continue to record and tour. In 2014 Alabama returned to its Southern gospel roots with Angels Among Us: Hymns & Gospel Favorites, which earned a Dove award from the Gospel Music Association. Last year Alabama reached #2 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart with Southern Drawl, their first album of new material since 2001.
The exhibit spotlights Alabama’s humanitarian efforts. The group’s long-running June Jam in Fort Payne, Ala., raised millions of dollars for local charities, and their support of St. Jude Children’s Hospital inspired other country artists to follow suit.
Exhibition 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.