I was born and raised in Alabama. Growing up with Alabama music, especially during the ‘60’s garage band era, the explosion of original music greatly influenced much of my life. It’s kind of like the old saying; you can’t see the forest for the trees. I really didn’t know how wonderful Alabama music was until I left Alabama.
While in the Air Force I had the opportunity to hear music in a lot of foreign places. After my military service years, I lived in Panama City Beach for 12 ½ years where I got to hear Alabama bands playing the beach clubs. I then spent 11 ½ years of my life in West Texas. There I was in the radio business. During those years I was involved in many radio-sponsored concerts.
Several concerts included Willie Nelson. One night while waiting to go on stage, Willie made small talk with me. He asked where I was from. I told him Alabama. He responded by saying that his lead guitar player was from Alabama. He then called Jody Payne over and introduced us. I asked what part of Alabama he was from. He replied, “A small town called Stapleton, near Mobile.” He asked where I was from, I told him Tuscaloosa and that was about the stint of our conversation, as he had to take the stage. (Before I start getting emails, I know Jody Payne was born in Kentucky.)
That moment in time “got me to thinking” about Alabama music and musicians having influence outside our great state. I began to research and the more I researched Alabama music and musicians the more I found them to be in virtually all genres, and could be found worldwide. The impact that Alabama has had on music is truly remarkable. The Artists A-Z section of Alabama Music Office.com (AMO) will bear this out.
That short conversation with Jody Payne inspired about 15 years of research. Then it took my partner, Sylvia Parker, and I another 1 ½ years to put this website together. It has been a labor of love that continues and will continue as more is added daily.
If you are reading this, I want you to be part of our movement to promote Alabama music and musicians. Just as the state of Texas got behind their music industry. We want you to support the vast and varied resource that is Alabama music.