In truth, the longevity of the Alabama band has long been the catalyst for everything that is linked to the band. They are one of Country Music’s oldest bands that continue to exist now, despite the death of Jeff Cook back in November of 2022, and their well known issues with keeping a stable drummer, the band has remained a juggernaut in the annals of Country Music history.
I mean, seriously how many people my age ( and a few younger ) remember riding in pickups with a father/uncle/friend and blasting Alabama tapes out of the stereo? They officially became Alabama in April of 1977, and in that time have released 24 albums which spawned 27 number one hits.
Not only do they mean a lot to the music world, they have down some amazing things for their community including one of the holy grail events the music community has, and that is called June Jam. Now, June Jam ran from 1982 to 1997 from their hometown in Alabama, and since I am a hard core student of the history of Country Music, you can damn sure bet I have studied the history of June Jam. keep Reading!
Here is the official press release for the event:
Iconic Event Returns to Fort Payne, Alabama’s VFW Fairgrounds
on June 1, 2024
“What a great way to help raise money for many charities and those in need and at the same time, having a great party in a field with our guest artists and fans,” says Gentry. “Come join us.”
“Looking forward to another great June Jam,” adds Owen. “It’s gonna be fun!”
ALABAMA will announce next year’s lineup of talent in the coming months.
June Jam was created by Fort Payne’s sons, ALABAMA, and brought some of the biggest names in country music together for charity. The first June Jam benefit concert took place in 1982 and continued annually for sixteen years, making it one of the biggest country music events in the nation. Previous performers include Garth Brooks, Charlie Daniels, Alan Jackson, The Judds, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Wayne Newton, Dolly Parton, Trisha Yearwood, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson and many more.
The very first June Jam wasn’t even an official June Jam, and it was held at Fort Payne High School stadium and it was held on a weekday. In 1982 they launched the first June Jam, and even back then the band’s management found out how difficult the expenses make hosting these events possible.
In a field near the high school, they enlisted the help of the community and culled the expenses exponentially. The first June Jam was reported to have pulled in 22,000 attendees, but in 1983 it had risen to over 37,000 and the third one pulled in 41,000. They saw a huge trend here , and the state of Alabama teamed up with the band management to continue to better this event.
As June Jam picked up steam, all sorts of bells and whistles were added and tried, more bands performed and the lineups grew bigger and longer. The attendance grew almost ten fold and even though it was just reinstated, the attendance was still amazing considering it was basically a re boot.
In my opinion, I think the fact that Alabama has been active for so many years is another reason that it is so successful. To be completely honest, this band is at the center of many of our hearts and was prevalent in many of our youth lives into adulthood.