High Cotton

Album: Southern Star (1989)

Songfacts®:

  • Written by Scott Anders and Roger Murrah, this nostalgic track takes the narrator back to his childhood on a farm with little money and a lot of hard work, yet it was the happiest time of his life.
  • The music video, directed by Jack Cole, finds the band tooling around in a '50s Cadillac and admiring the surrounding farmland.
  • This was the third of four singles from the Southern Star album to top the country chart.
  • The Eli Young Band's guitarist/vocalist Mike Eli shared his memories of this song on the Alabama & Friends at the Ryman concert DVD: "It reminds me we lived a little bit out in the country when I was a kid and our neighbors had a cotton field, which in Texas is very rare; there's not a lot of cotton fields. So, when I think of 'High Cotton' it was that memory of that cotton field that comes back, it's just funny how these songs are so powerful and bring you back to your hometown so quick."

    The Eli Young Band performed another Alabama classic for the concert and album: "The Closer You Get."
  • Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry both grew up on cotton farms in Fort Payne, Alabama. Owen introduced this song at the Ryman performance: "Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm here to tell you, me and Teddy know what it's like to plant cotton, chop cotton, and pick cotton. We're cotton-pickers... along with pick-up drivers."
  • This lends its name to the 2013 album High Cotton: A Tribute to Alabama, with T. Hardy Morris performing the title track.

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