Here are some well-known songs about Alabama:
- ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ – Lynyrd Skynyrd
- ‘Alabama’ – the Louvin Brothers
- ‘Stars Fell On Alabama’ – Jimmy Buffet
- ‘My home Is In Alabama’ – Alabama
- ‘Bama Breeze’ – Jimmy Buffet
- ‘Alabama Song’ – Allison Moorer
- ‘Alabam’ – Cowboy Copas
- ‘Alabama Waltz’ – Hank Williams
- ‘Alabama Wild Man’ – Jerry Reed
- ‘Alabama Lullaby’ – The Delmore Brothers
- ‘Alabama Stomp’ – Red Nichols
- ‘Alabama Man’ – Earl Scott
- ‘Alabama The Heart Of Dixie’ – Sherry Bryce
- ‘Heart Of Dixie’ – Darrell McCall
- ‘Stars In Alabama’ – Jamey Johnson
- ‘Alabama’ – Neil Young
- ’Alabama Pines’ – Jason Isbell
Alabama is the beautiful state that’s known for its great pine forests, wonderful food, and most of all, southern hospitality. Alabama is the Heart of Dixie, and the state bird is the Yellowhammer. The state’s maindustrial sector is agriculture ( more than half of Alabama is still rural), but also high-tech industries like satellite and rocket production and development play a prominent role. Alabama is full of contradictions, but maybe that’s what makes it so fascinating.
Alabama is renown for its contributions to country, blues, rock, jazz, and bluegrass music, so let’s take a look at some songs about Alabama. Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat to a white passenger in December 1955 became topical in the American Civil Rights Movement and many artists wrote songs in support of civil rights for everybody, but Neil Young’s songs ‘Southern Man’ (1970) and ‘Alabama’ (1972) really struck a nerve. In 1973, Lynyrd Skynyrd responded with their epic song ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ which became a hit in 1974. The world famous song highlights many of Alabama’s virtues.
There are maybe more songs about Alabama than about any other state. Famous is ‘Alabama’ by the Louvin Brothers and also Jason Isbell’ ‘Alabama Pines’ is among many people’s favorites. The band Alabama praises the state in ‘My Home is In Alabama’, Jimmy Buffet demonstrates his love for Mobile in ‘Bama Breeze’, John Prine’s ‘Angel From Montgomery’ is well-known, and Randy Newman’s ‘Birmingham’ became a world-wide hit.
Gospel and Soul
Alabama has produced some of America’s greatest artists, and among them is the gospel group ‘The Blind Boys of Alabama’. They are from Talladega and ever since World War II they have performed gospel music. Well-known are the group’s songs ‘I’ll Find A Way (To Carry It All)’, and ‘Way Down In The Hole’. Another great name is Athens’ Alabama Shakes, famous for its soul songs like ‘Shoegaze’ and ‘Hold On’. Famous stars from Alabama also include Martha Reeves (Eufaula) with soul classics like ‘Nowhere To Run’ and ‘Dancing In The Streets’, Percy Sledge (Leighton) with his world hit song ‘When A Man Loves A Women’, Lionel Richie (Tuskegee) & the Commodores with songs like ‘Brick House’, and Wilson Pickett (Prattville) with soul hits like ‘In The Midnight Hour’ and ‘Mustang Sally’.
Folk and Bluegrass
Bluegrass and Folk music will always have popular recognition, just listen to ‘Five Minutes Of Fame’ by Act of Congress (Birmingham) and you’ll understand why. The Foggy Hollow Band (Webster’s Chapel) is known for ‘Lonesome Pines’, a traditional turn of the 20th century song, and Calhoun’s Valley Road Bluegrass Band became even more popular as they recorded a bluegrass version of ‘They Baptized Jesse Taylor’. Birmingham’s famous star Emmylou Harris is known for many performances and recordings including ‘Gold Watch and Chain’.
Blues and Jazz
Tuscaloosa’s Dinah Washington is recognized for all her jazz and R&B singing like in ‘What A Diff’rence A Day Makes’ and another great legendary Alabama blues artist is Big Mama Thornton (Ariton) with songs like ‘Ball And Chain’ and ‘Hound Dog’. There are many blues music lovers who respect W.C. Handy (Florence) as the ‘Father of Blues’, just listen to songs like ‘St. Louis Blues’ and ‘Yellow Dog Blues’ from the early 1910’s and you will understand why.
Alabama is also the state of ‘Southern Rock’. In Northwest Alabama, in Sheffield, you can find the world-famous Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, one of the world’s best known music studios throughout history. Artists who recorded here include The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, The Staple Singers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Paul Simon, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Boz Scaggs, Dr. Hook, Willie Nelson, and Glenn Frey. One of the greatest southern rock bands was definitely Mobile’s Wet Willie, known for songs like ‘Dixie Rock, ‘Keep On Smilin’, and ‘Shout Bama Lama’.