From Born Country: How Faith, Family, and Music Brought Me Home by Randy Owen with Allen Rucker

I decided to write this book, after some arm-twisting from my wife Kelly and a few close friends, because I wanted people to know where I came from, the people who raised and nurtured me, and the outlook and values they engrained in me, hopefully values I’ve passed along to my own three children. As you read along, I expect you’ll be reminded of some of the things I’ve tried to say in the music of Alabama. Of course, it’s because of that music, and the millions of wonderful people who have embraced it for two and a half decades, that you even know who I am.

You can only get so much into a three-minute song, now matter how many of them get played on country radio. But those songs, especially the ones I personally wrote or co-wrote, can certainly give you the feeling of my story. When the open lines of “My Home’s in Alabama” report that “Drinkin’ was forbidden in my Christian country home” and that “I learned to play the flattop on them good ol’ Gospel songs,” that’s exactly what happened. I didn’t get those lines from another country song or watching TV. I got them from my life.

The music of Alabama, and my own personal music, came from the music we heard all our lives, the rich Southern tradition of gospel music and the God for whom that music was created in order to help folks worship and celebrate. From my earliest memory, this music was part of my life. I come from a multigenerational gospel-music family. Until the two inspirational albums we recently released, Alabama rarely sang about God, but trust me, God was present at every concert. The faith of my father and mother, both expressed in the music they played and in the life they aspired to lead, runs deep in both my personal life and in the songs Alabama sang every night.  read more