On This Day: Alabama Releases 13th No. 1 Hit ‘Down Home’ in 1991

by Madison Miller

The lucky number 13. On this day in 1991, the popular country and Southern rock band, Alabama, released their song “Down Home.” It would become the band’s 13th No. 1 single of their career.

Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry, and Jeff Cook make up Alabama. They became popular in the 1980s and 1990s when they collected over 27 No. 1 hit songs, seven multi-platinum albums, and a number of awards and honors.

In fact, the band is the most awarded in the history of country music with over 200 awards and honors.

In the ’80s, they were known for songs like “Dixieland Delight,” “Love in the First Degree,” and “Tennessee River.” In the ’90s their popularity somewhat faded, but they still had a number of hits, such as “Down Home.”

What is ‘Down Home’ About?

The song was written by Rick Bowles and Josh Leo. It is featured on their album “Pass It On Down.”

“Down Home” tells the story of growing up in a small rural town.

“Just off of the beaten path / A little dot on a state road map / That’s where I was born and where I’ll die.”

The song tells the experience of growing up in a town where everyone knows your name. In many ways, it’s a song that talks about the comfort of home, whatever that may mean. It is reminiscent of the band’s most popular song, “Dixieland Delight.”

“Down home, where they know you by name and treat you like family / Down home, a man’s good word and hand shake are all you need / Folks know if they’re falling on hard times.”

Facts About Alabama

The country band was known for their songs about family, home and southern culture. However, the focus on family is especially prevalent considering the group is made up of three cousins.

According to Country Thang Daily, Gentry had to be more than just a musician when they were starting out. He was a full-time carpet installer, ran a theatre, bagged groceries, and worked on a farm. Owen was laying brick, painting, and farming.

With his first paycheck, Gentry again showed just how important family is to the group. He bought his grandfather’s 60-acre farm, which he eventually named Bent Tree Farms.

Jeff Cook Parkinson’s

According to USA Today, Jeff Cook shared he had Parkinson’s disease in 2017.

“This disease robs you of your coordination, your balance, and causes tremors. For me, this has made it extremely frustrating to try and play guitar, fiddle or sing. I’ve tried not to burden anyone with the details of my condition because I do not want the music to stop or the party to end, and that won’t change no matter what. Let me say, I’m not calling it quits but sometimes our bodies dictate what we have to do, and mine is telling me it’s time to take a break and heal,” Cook said.

He had Parkinson’s for years before announcing it. When the media speculated he had substance abuse issues instead over the years, Owen and Gentry stood by his side.

The group continues to tour without him.