During the golden age of Southern Rock in the early 1980s, it was Alabama's twanging, electrified, country pop anthems which came blasting out of truckers' stereos as they roared across lost American highways. Led by cousins Randy Owen (vocals, guitar), Teddy Gentry (bass) and Jeff Cook (guitar, fiddle), they initially formed as Wildcountry in 1972 and cut their teeth as a bar band in Myrtle Beach, California. Renaming themselves after their home state in 1977, their fourth album My Home's in Alabama (1980) was the group’s big commercial breakthrough. Follow-up albums Feel So Right (1981), Mountain Music (1982) and The Closer You Get (1983) set them up as one of the great country music groups of all time. Singles “Love In The First Degree” and “Take Me Down” crossed over to become Top 20 US hits and the band went on to sell over 75 million albums, score 30 Number 1 country hits, and were given their own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Later albums Just Us (1987) and Pass It On Down (1990) continued to capture that rootsy, all-American feel and they successfully turned their hand to Christian gospel on Songs of Inspiration (2006) and Songs Of Inspiration II . However, their popularity had been eclipsed by more traditional country artists and Alabama’s commercial decline began in the late 1980s and continued through the 1990s. Alabama broke up in 2004 but were back together in 2010 after Randy Owen successfully battled prostate cancer. In 2013, artists such as Florida Georgia Line, Kenny Chesney, Trisha Yearwood, and Alabama themselves appeared on the tribute album Alabama & Friends (2013). The group returned to the country charts with Southern Drawl, their first country music album in 14 years. Suffering from Parkinson’s disease, founding member Jeff Cook died on November 7, 2022.