39 Years Ago: Alabama Become First Country Group to Go Triple Platinum
Thirty-nine years ago today, on Oct. 25, 1984, Alabama -- made up of Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry and Jeff Cook -- accomplished a feat that had never been achieved by a country group before. It was on that date that they earned triple-platinum status, signifying sales of 3 million units, for both their Feels So Right and Mountain Music albums. (Additionally, Roll On and The Closer You Get earned double-platinum status.)
Feels So Right was released in 1981 and became Alabama's first No. 1 record. All three singles from the record, "Old Flame," "Love in the First Degree" and the title track, soared to the top of the charts. Mountain Music, which was released in 1982 as the follow-up project to Feels So Right, also had three No. 1 singles, including the title track, "Take Me Down" and "Close Enough to Perfect."
Alabama, who served as co-producers on their records, won multiple awards during this era, including two CMA Awards for Vocal Group of the Year and one Entertainer of the Year trophy, as well as two ACM Awards for Entertainer of the Year and Top Vocal Group, and Album of the Year for Feels So Right. Mountain Music also earned the band their first Grammy Awards trophy, for Best Country Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocal.
Fourteen of Alabama's studio albums have achieved at least platinum status, with Mountain Music now having sold more than 5 million units. But in spite of all of their success, the group, who formed in 1969, say that they never had a formula for their massive numbers.
"Music just changes so much," Gentry tells The Boot. "When we came up, we were considered different. Wearing T-shirts and tennis shoes and having long hair and playing loud. So you just have to go with what you’ve got ... there are no shortcuts, and you have to work hard sticking to your guns."
This story was originally written by Gayle Thompson, and revised by Annie Zaleski.
10 Essential Albums for Your Country Music Education: