Alabama Reschedules Tour Dates After Death of Randy Owen’s Mother

by Jim Casey

Alabama frontman Randy Owen is mourning the loss of his mother, Martha Owen, 90. Martha, who was surrounded by her family in Fort Payne, Alabama, died on June 2 following a short illness. As a result, Alabama has rescheduled its upcoming tour dates in Roanoke, Virginia, on June 3 (now Dec. 9) and Fayetteville, North Carolina, on June 4 (now Dec. 11).

Martha Owen was married to the late Gladstone Yeuell Owen (Randy’s father, who passed in 1980). Together, they had three children: son Randy and daughters Reba Patterson and Rachel Carroll. Randy’s mother and father were responsible for introducing him to singing onstage. When the siblings were children, the family formed The Singing Owen Family, a Gospel group that performed in churches and events in Alabama and the South in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Rainsville Community Church in Rainsville, Alabama, will host Martha Owen’s visitation on Sunday, June 5 (4-8 p.m. CT), as well as funeral services on Monday, June 6.

Alabama 50th Anniversary Tour

After a series of setbacks in 2019 and 2020, Alabama resumed its 50th Anniversary Tour in 2021. Country music’s most-awarded band—Randy Owen, Jeff Cook, and Teddy Gentry—was forced to cancel more than 20 shows in 2019 because Randy was suffering from vertigo. Of course, the COVID pandemic put the kibosh on the rescheduled dates in 2020.

Randy, Jeff, and Teddy began playing together in 1969 as Young Country. Eventually, they morphed into Wildcountry in 1972. They rebranded as Alabama in 1977 and signed a record deal with RCA Nashville in 1980. Unlike many country vocal groups of the time, Alabama was a full-fledged band. The guys played their own instruments, melding aspects of rock and country.

From 1980 to 1987, the band scored an unprecedented 21 consecutive No. 1 singles. They also won numerous awards, including CMA Entertainer of the Year in 1982, 1983, and 1984.

“We are very thankful that we can play our music for our loyal fans of the past 50 years and introduce our songs to a new third and fourth generation of new fans,” said Randy in 2021 when the tour was rescheduled. “There’s nothing like the roar of the crowd, and we can’t wait to get back on the road.”

“This tour, that we are blessed to have, has the most amazing group of musicians and vocalists that we have ever had on the road,” added Teddy. “In addition, we wanted to bring along some special friends to join us on tour each night.”