If You're Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)

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"If You're Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)"
Single by Alabama
from the album Roll On
B-side "I'm Not That Way Anymore"
Released July 16, 1984
Format 7"
Recorded November 3, 1983
Genre Country rock, bluegrass
Length 3:22 (single edit)
3:44 (Greatest Hits Vol. III)
4:28 (album version)
Label RCA
Writer(s) Murray Kellum
Dan Mitchell
Producer(s) Harold Shedd
Alabama singles chronology
"When We Make Love"
"If You're Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)"
"(There's A) Fire in the Night"

"If You're Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)" is a song written by Murray Kellum and Dan Mitchell, and recorded by American country music band Alabama. It was released in July 1984 as the third single from the band's album Roll On, In October, the song was the group's 14th consecutive number-one single on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.[1]

During the first weeks "If You're Gonna Play in Texas..." was on the Billboard chart, the song's flip side, "I'm Not That Way Anymore" was listed as a tag-along "B-side" since the B-side had an accompanying music video which was filmed at Fort Payne High School.

The chorus references Faded Love by Texas musician Bob Wills and Louisiana Man by Doug Kershaw repeatedly throughout this song.

Critical reception[edit]

Kip Kirby, of Billboard magazine reviewed the song favorably, saying that Alabama "obviously enjoys this high-energy instrumental romp through roots."[2]

Single and album edit differences[edit]

The single edit was more than a minute shorter than the original album version. Two features were deleted from the single version:

  • The opening fanfare, featuring Alabama's vocalists — accompanied by just a piano — singing a few bars of "The Eyes of Texas." This introduction leads into the single's opening, which suddenly picks up the tempo to a quick duple-meter.
  • A second repeat of the refrain, the first part only accompanied by drums, before the fiddle-led bridge leading to the last part of the song.

The version that appears on the band's Greatest Hits Vol. III album excises the intro but retains the extra refrain.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1984) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[3] 1
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 19. 
  2. ^ Billboard, July 21, 1984
  3. ^ "Alabama – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Alabama.
  • Morris, Edward, "Alabama," Contemporary Books Inc., Chicago, 1985 (ISBN 0809253062)
  • Roland, Tom, "The Billboard Book of Number One Country Hits" (Billboard Books, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York, 1991 (ISBN 0-82-307553-2))
Preceded by
"I Don't Know a Thing About Love (The Moon Song)"
by Conway Twitty
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

October 27, 1984
Succeeded by
"City of New Orleans"
by Willie Nelson
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

November 3, 1984