It’s no secret that the American South has given birth to a substantial number of influential musicians, but did you know that Alabama, specifically, can lay claim to many of the Country Music stars we know and love? That’s right, the nation just can’t get enough of this state’s sound and love the artists Southern drawls in addition to the amazing lyrics they’ve penned. The origins of these noteworthy Alabamians are spread throughout the state, from the Gulf Coast to the Mountains of the north, and can be found in the early years of popular country music all the way up to hot new stars of the hour.
Check out this list of Country Stars that are from Alabama:
Hailing from Montgomery, Alabama, Jamey Johnson took the Country Music scene by storm with his distinctive voice and a sound that’s more typical of classic Country Music than most of today’s new stars. With songs like “In Color” and “Give it Away” Johnson has won numerous country music awards and the hearts of fans.
This popular group was formed in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and had chart-topping songs throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, like “Sunday in the South, “The Church on Cumberland Road”, and “Two Dozen Roses”. Although band members came and went over the years, their influence remained as they played songs about everyday struggles and experiences that resonated with Country Music fans .
Known as “The Voice”, this Woodland, Alabama native had several #1 hits on the Country Music charts, including “Set ‘Em Up Joe” and “I’m Still Crazy”.
7) EMMYLOU HARRIS
This Birmingham-born musician has collaborated with a mile-long list of other high-profile artists in the music world (like Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, and Roy Orbison) to produce award-winning albums and performances. Her efforts have impacted both Country Music and Rock and Roll, which has led to her being touted as one of the most influential female musicians of our time.
6) JASON ISBELL
Swept the 2014 Americana Music Awards in the company of artists like Loretta Lynn, and had the 2012 Americana Song of the Year, “Alabama Pines” which is a nod to his Green Hill, Alabama childhood. His sound has been praised by critics and fans alike, and Isbell’s writing has him following in the footsteps of Bob Dylan, and other groundbreaking songwriters who reflected the emotions of their audiences with their music.
5) SONNY JAMES
Younger Country Music fans may not immediately recognize his name but this Hackleburg, Alabama native (born James Hugh Loden) has earned a place of high respect in the Country Music world. By having 16 straight #1 hits over a five-year period, and 26 #1 hits throughout his career, “The Gentleman” set records and turned heads with his clear, distinctive voice.
4) THE BAND PERRY
This powerful trio of siblings from Mobile, Alabama has taken the Country Music scene by storm over the past few years with award-winning hits like “If I Die Young” and “Better Dig Two”. Something tells us that the reign of Kimberly, Neil, and Reid Perry in the Country Music charts is far from over.
3) TAMMY WYNETTE
Claiming Red Bay, Alabama as her hometown, Tammy Wynette went on to become one of the biggest Country Music icons of all time. Both as a solo singer and in collaborating with other artists, like George Jones (to whom she was married for a period)her hits are timeless. Strains of “Stand By Your Man” and “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” are instantly recognizable and sung by Country Music fans young and old, alike.
It’s impossible to talk about Country Music and the state of Alabama without immediately talking about this super-group from Ft. Payne, Alabama. Their prolific volume of chart-topping songs have impacted the styles and writing of many newer stars, like Brad Paisley’s “Old Alabama”. Alabama’s timeless work remains an essential ingredient of excellent programming for Country Music radio stations.
1) HANK WILLIAMS SR.
Born near Georgiana, Alabama Hank Williams is a Country Music pioneer whose name is known the world over. Although he died before reaching his 30th birthday, he left an indelible mark on the decades of Country Music that have followed him. His gravesite in Montgomery is a place of pilgrimage for Country Music fans and a stretch of the Interstate I-65 in Alabama is named for his song, “The Lost Highway”. His son, Hank Williams, Jr. has gone on to be a Country Music superstar in his own right.