On this day in 1980, Alabama scored its first number one hit on the country charts with Tennessee River. It would be the first of 21 consecutive number one hits, spanning until 1987, for the biggest band in the history of country music.

The band got its start in (you guessed it) Fort Payne, Alabama back in 1969, however, they initially had another name. Back then, they were known as WildCountry.

WildCountry performed in bars across the southern U.S. throughout the 1970s. It wasn't until 1977 that they began going by Alabama.

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After two songs that did reasonably well on country radio, the band was signed to RCA Records, where Tennesse River would become the first single on the label.

The 21 number one single streak included legendary songs like Love in the First Degree (1981), Mountain Music (1982), Dixieland Delight (1983), If You're Gonna Play in Texas (1984), and many, many more.

The band also changed Nashville's idea of what kind of country music could sell. Before Alabama, country bands hadn't had much success in the industry. But after the group's 27 hit singles and seven, multi-platinum albums, it was hard to argue that country bands couldn't sell records.

After a brief break in 2004, Alabama reunited and still tours, as well as records to this day.

You can see them live, in concert this June in Moorhead and Prior Lake, Minnesota. Check out the band's website, here for more details.

Check out this live performance of Tennesse River from Farm Aid, 1986.

Story Source: Alabama Website

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