Interview with Alabama's Randy Owen
By Shannon Woodland and Scott Ross
The 700 Club
Alabama swept into the country music scene like a tidal wave. Ever since the band made news in the early 1980s, Alabama has sold over 73 million records, with 42 hit singles, won two Grammy awards and earned a place in the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Despite the glitter of stardom, they never forgot their roots in Ft. Payne, Alabama. Even today, lead vocalist, Randy Owen, raises cattle in the mountains where he was born and raised.
Scott Ross of The 700 Club interviewed Alabama's founder and lead vocalist, Randy Owen:
Scott: If you had to make a choice between the music world and the cattle world, could you make a choice?
Randy: Not really. They both coexist very well. One helps you get away from the other, and they both exist very well to me.
Recently, Randy penned his life story. In Born Country, he says music has always been a family affair. His parents, Martha and Gladstone Owen, were fine musicians themselves. They instilled in their children both a love for music and God.
Randy: For me, when I grew up playing music, I played music in church and people were shouting and having a big time, and church wasn’t something where it was subdued. If you played something you brought it to church with you.
Alabama started out as a relatively unknown band. They hit it big with the song, “My home is in Alabama.”
Randy: That song just changed everything.
Scott: Were you surprised?
Randy: Well, sure. You’ve got to remember, we were so different, just totally different.
Scott: In what way?
Scott: You didn’t come out in sequin suits?
Randy: No. We looked like rough guys. It was the way we were; we grew up that way.
Scott: And you had a rock’n’roll influence?
Randy: Absolutely, we looked that way.
As Alabama was riding high on the billboard chart of number one hits, Randy suffered the loss of his father.
Scott: That really threw you?
Randy: Oh yeah, and still does.
Then after 21 straight number 1 singles, a record still not broken today, the group lost interest in their music because they believed they had lost touch with who they were.
Randy: We became more of a commercial band than southern soul gospel country, the people who we really are; we started becoming to the point where I got tired of those songs.
Scott: Were you losing your identity?
Randy: We were losing our soul. And we were losing the reason we got in the music business.
Alabama turned back to the music of their roots. Today, they have the distinction of being one of the most successful bands in the history of music. Randy doesn’t talk much about hits or accomplishments today. He seems more grateful for the daily blessings he experiences in these Appalachian Mountains.
Randy: Our father who art in heaven, hallowed be they name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
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