On This Day: Alabama Releases ‘Jukebox in My Mind’ in 1990

by Jim Casey

Alabama released true-blue country song “Jukebox in My Mind” on July 13, 1990.

Alabama—the foursome o Randy Owen, Jeff Cook, Teddy Gentry, and Mark Herndon—took country music by storm in the 1980s with their rockin’ brand of countrified music. Unlike many country vocal groups of the era, Alabama was a complete band. They played their own instrument and wrote many of their hits. And hits they had in droves. The guys scored 27 chart-toppers in the 1980s, and were named the ACM Artist of the Decade.

However, Alabama proved it wasn’t a one-decade wonder with their 1990 single, “Jukebox in My Mind.” In 1990, youngsters like Garth Brooks, Clint Black, and Travis Tritt, among others, began dominating the charts. But the “old-timers” in Alabama still had more than a few hits up their sleeves.

Outside the Alabama Box

Penned by Dave Gibson and Ronnie Rogers, “Jukebox in My Mind” was featured on Alabama’s 13th studio album, Pass It On Down, which dropped on May 21, 1990.

“Jukebox in My Mind” is certainly one of the—if not the—most hard-core country songs from Alabama’s catalog. The tune, which was released as the album’s second single on July 13, 1990, truly showed off the essence of Alabama’s country roots.

“I was daydreaming one day when a line popped into my head: ‘In the corner of my mind stands a jukebox,’” said songwriter Dave Gibson to Country Weekly in 2002. “I heard the melody in my mind at the same time and actually sang the words out loud. Then, another line materialized: ‘And it’s playing all my favorite memories.’ I thought, ‘Wow, that’s kinda different,’ so I jotted the lines down. A few minutes later I walked into the office of my songwriting buddy, Ronnie Rogers. I sang him the lines. He also went, ‘Wow!’ So we sat down right then and wrote most of the song in about two hours.”

Bama Strong

Fans loved “Jukebox in My Mind.” And so did country radio. Not only did the single reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart on September 8, 1990, but also it stayed on top for four weeks. The tune was nominated for Single of the Year at the ACM Awards in 1991, as well as Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group at the Grammy Awards in 1991.

In 1993, the RIAA certified Pass It On Down as Platinum for sales of 1 million units.

Of course, the 1990s treated Alabama exceptionally well. They scored another handful of No. 1 hits in the 1990s, including “Forever’s as Far as I’ll Go,” “Down Home,” “I’m in a Hurry (And Don’t Know Why),” and “Reckless.”

The Country Music Hall of Fame inducted Alabama into its esteemed organization in 2005.