If I were to ask you to identify this group of menI would assume most of you would not know who it is. Don’t worry I did not either until entering the Rhetoric of Country Music class. However, although you do not recognize them I guarantee you have heard their songs. This group of men came together to form one of the most successful country bands of all time, Alabama. They originated out of, yes you guessed it, Alabama. The band began with three cousins, Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry, and Jeff Cook. They later added their drummer Mark Herndon who was not blood related, just a talented musician. They began their success in the 1980’s with over 27 number 1 hits and seven multiplatinum awards. When you think about that in today’s music industry, that is A LOT of success. Their most popular songs consist of “Song of the South,” “Mountain Music,” “If You’re Gonna Play In Texas,” and “Tennessee River”. Now I am almost positive you know who I am talking about now. If you are any type of country music fan, or just a fan of music in general, I am fairly certain you have heard a few, if not all of those songs.
This band is a perfect example of a simple group of men coming together, playing instruments, and singing. This is something I think is missing in todays country. Of course it exists in Texas Country, but the more popular/modern country does not have this type of music anywhere. I realize that society has changed since then of course, but it just goes to show that you do not need to add special affects to a singers voice or any other enhancements to be successful. This band is considered of the most successful country bands of all time and if you listen to their songs compared to todays country, you can see how simple and pure it is. Their songs were relied more on the lyrics rather than the beat of rhythm of the song. I think that is something that modern country has turned away from. It is more about appealing to the listeners ear rather then the audience connecting to the lyrics.
Alabama was considered a country/rock group during their time. To put that into perspective, in today’s society, Florida Georgia Line is what the music industry considers country/rock now. I know I am not alone in saying these two are in no comparison. Not taking anything away from Florida Georgia Line of course, but this is just an example of how much country music has changed in society. Our expectations as an audience is not near the same as it was 30 years ago and to me, I wish it were not that way.