As a small kid growing up in rural Jackson County, Tennessee, our bus driver played Alabama virtually every day. So for a few years of my life, I heard everything they put out.
Only later would I learn of the influence Randy Owen and his band had on the music industry, from the genuinely impactful music itself to the business of organizing and hosting wildly successful festival events. The band “Alabama” became so important to their industry that the State of Alabama adopted their logo for state welcome signs and 43 #1 songs would result from their efforts.
Not only leading one of the most financially successful bands in music history, Randy is a highly approachable, decent guy. Every time I have ever run into him, he has been willing to chat and simply be friendly to people who express interest in what he has done for a living. And that living has been remarkable, both in the financial result and the extraordinary imprint he has had on the next generation of musicians.
When I saw him in our hallway today, I said “Hey, let’s talk for a minute in the Hits 96 studio.” As always, he was happy to oblige.