Mountain Music (song)

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"Mountain Music"
Alabama - Mountain Music single.jpeg
Single by Alabama
from the album Mountain Music
B-side "Never Be One"
Released January 22, 1982 (U.S.)
Format 7"
Recorded 1981
Genre Country Folk
Length 3:39 (single edit)
4:08 (album version)
Label RCA 13019
Writer(s) Randy Owen
Producer(s) Harold Shedd and Alabama
Alabama singles chronology
"Love in the First Degree"
(1981)
"Mountain Music"
(1982)
"Take Me Down"
(1982)

"Mountain Music" is a song written by Randy Owen, and recorded by American country music band Alabama. It was released in January 1982 as the lead-off single and title track to Alabama's album Mountain Music.[1]

About the song[edit]

"Mountain Music" - a song melding the Southern rock and bluegrass genres - has variously been described by country music writers as "a modern country classic"[2] and a song that "practically defined what country groups have strived to accomplish."[3]

According to Randy Owen's book, Born Country, "Mountain Music" took three years to write. He wanted to put his childhood experiences into a song.

  • The song references chert rocks, which according to the band is one song lyric that commonly gets misheard.

Vocals[edit]

"Mountain Music" is one of the only Alabama songs where solo vocals can prominently be heard from band members Teddy Gentry and Jeff Cook (in the song's third verse, where lead singer Owen trades off lead vocals with his bandmates).

Brad Paisley's 2011 single "Old Alabama" incorporates the bridge from "Mountain Music", again sung by Owen, Gentry and Cook.[4]

Single and album edits[edit]

The single edit to "Mountain Music," released for retail sale and radio airplay, excises the following from the album version:

  • The introduction, wherein an old mountain philosopher speaks about someday climbing a mountain. This Walter Brennan impression was done by Bob Martin, a guitar handler and roadie with the band.[5] A harmonica solo can also be heard at the very beginning.
  • A series of guitar riffs slowly builds in tempo from slow to very fast. This is nestled between the third refrain and the fast-tempoed fiddle-heavy musical bridge before the finalé.

Charts[edit]

Released in January 1982, "Mountain Music" became Alabama's sixth No. 1 song on Billboard magazine's Hot Country Singles chart - the same week the Academy of Country Music named the group the Top Vocal Group and Entertainer of the Year.[2]

To date, "Mountain Music" remains one of the group's most popular songs.

Chart (1982) Peak
position
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[6] 1
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[7] 1
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 1

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 18. 
  2. ^ a b Roland, Tom, "The Billboard Book of Number One Country Hits" (Billboard Books, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York, 1991 (ISBN 0-82-307553-2)), p. 319
  3. ^ Allmusic, review of Mountain Music by Alabama.
  4. ^ Richardson, Gayle (19 March 2011). "Brad Paisley Says Working With Alabama Was 'Mind-Blowing'". The Boot. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  5. ^ Sharpe, Jerry (29 April 1982). "Success Shines On Their Alabama Home". The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "Alabama – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Alabama.
  7. ^ "Alabama – Chart history" Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 for Alabama.

Works cited

  • Morris, Edward, "Alabama," Contemporary Books Inc., Chicago, 1985 (ISBN 0809253062)

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Crying My Heart Out Over You" by Ricky Skaggs
Billboard Hot Country Singles number-one single
May 1, 1982
Succeeded by
"Always on My Mind" by Willie Nelson
Preceded by
"Same Ole Me" by George Jones
RPM Country Tracks number-one single
May 15-May 22, 1982
Succeeded by
"Single Women" by Dolly Parton