Music is simply something I cannot live without. I wake up to music every morning when the clock hits a set time, I listen to music as I am preparing myself for the day, I listen to it to and from work; it is just something that I have to have. Whether it is the sounds of the banjo, the strum of the guitar, or the story of the song; country music, and the band Alabama, have a special place in my heart. I grew up in Georgia, and being from the South you may think that country music was in my blood, but it wasn’t until I was ten years old, on a road trip with my father is when I heard; really heard, country music for the first time.
The year was 1988 when I moved from Georgia to Florida with my father and sister. At the age of ten I was, believe it or not, into eighties hair bands which made my father “thrilled”. During this time in my life I was “rocking out” to Guns and Roses, Def Leppard, and Bon Jovi on my high-tech Walkman or stereo system, I can still hear a faint voice saying something on the lines of “turn that racket off!” That faint, yet stern, voice was my father. My father did not understand the hype of these eighties hair bands as he grew up listening to the country classics of Johnny Cash, George Jones, and Loretta Lynn. In addition to these classic artists, he enjoyed a country band from Fort Payne, Alabama that was created by the music legends of Jeff Cook, Randy Owen, and Teddy Gentry. With songs like “Tennessee River”, “Dixieland Delight”, “Love in the First Degree” and “Song of the South,” this was a far cry from Def Leppard’s, “Pour Some Sugar on Me.”
I remember the exact day where I first heard Alabama’s Greatest Hits album. My family and I were going on a family vacation to our cabin in North Carolina. I remember sitting in the back seat, and thinking to myself, “great this is exactly what I wanted, to be stuck in the car with my father and sister for twelve hours.” This trip was a great opportunity for my father to be in control of the theme music to our vacation as well as lock his daughters in the car to bestow upon us the knowledge of what good music actually is. At first, I was appalled at the