My Home's In Alabama

Album: My Home's In Alabama (1980)

Songfacts®:

  • Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry, both natives of Fort Payne, Alabama, wrote this early track about staying true to their roots while struggling to make it as musicians. It was a #17 hit on the country chart.
  • Jamey Johnson performed this with Alabama for the Alabama & Friends album and onstage at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. Johnson, who also hails from the Cotton State, remembers this was the first song he ever learned to play on the guitar.
  • Owen remembers watching Johnson perform live for the first time. He told Billboard: "I studied the way he did 'My Home's In Alabama,' and he knew the song better than I did. It was really moving for me, and I knew he had an incredible voice."
  • "Probably the most edited song that we've ever done was 'My Home Is In Alabama,' which was originally about 11 minutes long," Teddy Gentry told Songfacts. "It was edited down to six-and-a-half minutes for the single, which was still one of the longest singles ever at radio." (Check out our full interview with Teddy Gentry.)
  • Before they became famous, Alabama paid their dues playing for tips at bars and restaurants. "My Home's in Alabama" was written during one of these stints as the house band in Myrtle Beach's Bowery club. Owen recalled in a No Depression interview: "I remember [when] me and Teddy had just written 'My Home's in Alabama' and we performed it, this big ol' guy that was like a wrestler - he was one of the waiters - walked up to the stage and said, 'That's the best Southern rock song I've ever heard in my whole damn life!' [Laughs] We didn't look at anything except it's just music. It was a song that me and Teddy had written and we practiced it and worked on the arrangement."
  • A 2000 State Senate bill proposed that this should be the official State Ballad of Alabama, but it failed in the State House.
  • "The part of the song that really comes from my heart is 'I'll speak my Southern English as natural as I please,'' Owen told Alanna Nash, author of Behind Closed Doors: Talking with the Legends of Country Music. "When I was in college, people would make fun of the way I talked. Even Southern people would. Maybe it was just hard for them to understand the way I pronounced things. Or maybe I pronounced 'em wrong. But I knew what I was saying. That had always been a pet peeve of mine, and I got a chance to put it in a song. It sure fit right in that one."

Comments: 1

  • Camille from Toronto, OhThis Alabama song captures the country rock sound of the 1980s and is still great to listen to. It has an Allman Brothers southern rock feel to it but definitely Alabama’s sound. Alabama is the best selling country band of all time with over 40 #1 hits. They are the most awarded country band, too, including being named Artist of the Decade by the Academy of Country Music, and have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Songfacts needs to add a whole lot more of their music to the Songfacts website.
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