Monday, August 15, 2011

My Revue on Randy Owen's Book Born Country!

If you are a fan of the group Alabama this is a book for you to read. Randy goes into very good detail about how he grew up and how him and two of his cousins started their band. I am going to tell you some of the book to give you and idea of how the book is. I really enjoyed this book a lot.

He was born December 13, 1949 in Alabama. His parents owned a cotton farm. Randy is the oldest of three kids. He has two younger sister's. While growing up he had a very christian life style.

His dad played the guitar and his mom played the piano. So he did have the music growing up and that is all he wanted to be is an entertainer. He never thought he would be a lead singer of a band he just wanted to be in the band playing his guitar. His parents would go around to different churches and play the christian music. They went in about a hundred miles radios.  When Randy got his guitar and his dad showed him some cords on it then Randy started to play with his parents.

Randy did get his schooling but didn't graduate with his class. He did graduate high school a year later. Randy is a very family oriented man. His dad had gotten sick and Randy figured his dad needed him more than him going to school. So he was helping his dad pick the cotton in the field instead of going to school. His junior high school principal found out and asked him why he is not in school. Randy did try to go back but the principal at the high school would not let him back in school. Then the junior high school principal called the high school and Randy was let back in school. He graduated high school and went to college and got a B.A. in English and a minor in Spanish.

The first name of the band was called Young Country then was called Wildcountry. The band was basically in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. They played in a bar called the Bowery. This was a regular for them and they played anything that the crowd wanted to hear from Rock to Country music. They played here all year round and while Randy was in college. They started here in 1973 and Randy was writing music and playing that there too. The only day they had off at the Bowery was Sunday's.

In 1975 Randy and his wife got married. His wife grew up all over her father was in the Army. So she went to school all over the world. But one day her mom and some other ladies said that there was a band playing at the bar. And his wife wanted to go and here the band. That is how they met.

In 1980 three record labels called them. The labels are RCA, Capitol and Columbia. They chose RCA and they stayed with them the whole time they were singing and going on tour. Things really started looking really good for the band. This is the time they changed the name to Alabama. Randy, Teddy, Jeff and Mark really made a name for themselves and fast. Now everything was moving so fast for them.

The day they were suppose to go and sign with the company Randy got a phone call that his dad had past away. Randy couldn't drive back home so Teddy took them home. All Randy wanted was his dad to see how he made it with his music and he wanted to take his dad flying. There was so much that Randy wanted to do with his dad once he made it in the music business but was never able to do it. Randy never had time to grieve for his dad. He had to leave to start the tour for Alabama. So Randy wasn't really in the mood to go on tour but he did  it for the band. The band was doing 280 dates a year.

No one in the band ever did drugs or drank alcohol. In 1994 Randy was rushed to the hospital. He was awaken by a jet flying over the house very low. His wife woke up and said that Randy looked really pale and his heart was racing really fast. His wife called a friend of hers and she was a nurse. Her friend told her to get Randy to the ER really fast. It sounded like he was having a heart attack. Thank the lord it wasn't that he was having an attack of exhaustion both mental and physical. He just had to take it easy for awhile. They also think it could something to with the fact that Randy never got to grieve for his dad. 

Alabama always had a way to give back to people for helping them make it so big. Alabama gave back with charities. Like June Jam, Celebrity Softball, Golf Tournaments, Helping the Farmer's, St. Jude Children's Research. Along with St. Jude's the have a radiothon to raise money for the kids. There is over 280 radio station's that take one or two days to play music and play conversation with the kids and there families. They have raised over 500 million dollars in on year for the kids for research for the different illnesses. Alabama also received and award for all the help that they have done for the kids. Randy also goes and talks with the kids and the families at the hospital.

Their Farewell Tour was for forty cities in 2003 but ended up being a two year tour. They had gotten such and enormous response during the tour that they added another forty shows for 2004. They remember people coming to their very first shows wearing Lynyrd Skynryd t-shirts. This was really different for them. They just thought at this point in there lives they wanted to leave while on top. They didn't want to be starting to hit bottom when they left. During this tour Randy had gotten sick again. Everything started to spin on him. He had gone to the doctor and no doctor could find out what was wrong with him. It was Vertigo that is light headedness or dizziness. But he made it through the tour.

The band had a lot of awards like Entertainer of the Year, Group of the Year, Country Music Hall of Fame, Star on the Walk of Fame, Entertainer of the Decade and sold over 73 million albums and countless miles on the road away from the family. They also have over forty number one hit songs.

Randy was also friends with Dale Earnhardt. He was suppose to go and see him race the day Dale died. But his son had a basketball tournament and he went to go and see his son. Randy and his wife also went to Dale's house for New Year's Eve and having a great time there. Randy is also a Packer fan.  

I am leaving you with Alabama's very first video when they were called Wildcountry. This also has Randy's son in it. The song is called Tar Top. I thought this was just the right video to put on here it is their very first video and song. I hope to hear what you thing of this revue.

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