Alabama lead singer recording solo album


MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Randy Owen is recording a solo album after more than 25 years of hits with country band Alabama.

His album doesn't have a name or release date yet, but Owen said it could be out as early as January. The 57-year-old Fort Payne native said he's writing and co-writing songs for the project, and John Rich of Big and Rich is producing.

"He's a superintelligent musical genius," Owen said of Rich.

Owen was in Montgomery on Tuesday for state Attorney General Troy King's presentation of nearly $74,000 to the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.

King said Owen suggested the hall get the money, which was left over from the state's share of a nationwide price-fixing settlement with music distributors and retailers.

David Johnson, executive director of the hall of fame, said about 10,000 schoolchildren from Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee visit the tourist attraction each year on field trips, and the funds will be used to continue the hall's educational mission. The hall of fame is located in Tuscumbia, about 20 miles south of the Tennessee border.

Owen recalled his childhood in northeast Alabama, when his interest in music made him "a little different" from other kids.

"People made fun of the songs I made up back then. Now they make a living for me and my family," he said.

Alabama gave their farewell tour in 2003. They were inducted into the Alabama Hall of Fame in 1993.