Days Gone By - stories from the past

There is musical talent in Alabama genes. Do you know names to add to this list?


Hank Williams, Sr.

Music runs deep in Alabama genes. I thought it would be fun to make a list of Alabamians that made it to the international spotlight for their music.

It is astonishing that Alabama defied the odds and had three finalists on American Idol  during the 13th season.

jasper alabama
Jasper, Alabama

The American Idol contenders in the 13th season were:

Jess Meuse from Slapout, C. J. Harris from Jasper and Dexter Roberts from Fayette, Alabama . All three contenders were from small towns in Alabama less than 150 miles from each other. When you consider that over 100,000 people auditioned for American Idol, it was really amazing that so many were from so small an area.

fayette county courthouse
Fayette County Courthouse

Note: This wasn’t the only time Holtville High where Jess Meuse attended in Slapout, has reached international fame as the following story reveals, An amazing story about how a small Alabama school became known worldwide.  

Holtville High School, Slapout, Alabama
Holtville High School, Slapout, Alabama

I thought it would be fun to make a list of Alabamians that made it to the international spotlight for their music.

Skyline farms - musicians2

Skyline farms band, in the picture above,Walter Holt to the left, and Chester Allen on the right, the Skyline farms band performed for The President in Washington DC in 1938, they were the first band to do this kind of music, and song and the square team also took to the stage on the white house lawn with them.

Email additional names that should be on the list to [email protected]  Be sure to include biography information with links revealing their international fame. All musicians included must have reached international status.

Most of the ones below are from  Encyclopedia of Alabama listed and they are in no particular order:

  1. Hank Williams, Sr.
  2. Hank Williams, Jr.
  3. The Band Alabama
  4. Percy Sledge
  5. Cathryn Antoinette “Toni” Tennille
  6. Erskine Hawkins
  7. Adele “Vera” Hall Ward
  8. Delmore Brothers
  9. Nat King Cole
  10. William “W. C” Handy
  11. Blind Boys of Alabama
  12. Eddie Hinton
  13. Jerry “Boogie” McCain
  14. George “Wild Child” Butler
  15. Louvin Brothers
  16. Arthur Alexander
  17. Man or Astroman? – see guitar at Hallmark Guitars
  18. Dan Penn
  19. Johnny Sandlin
  20. The Speer family
  21. The Commodores
  22. Herman Blount (Sun Ra)
  23. James Reese Europe
  24. The Swampers – Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (MSRS) 
  25. Wilson Pickett
  26. Emmylou Harris
  27. Denson Brothers
  28. Jimmy Buffett
  29. Lionel Hampton
  30. Eddie Kendricks
  31. Cleo “Big Bo” McGee
  32. Donnie Fritts
  33. Jake Hess
  34. Drive-by Truckers
  35. Spooner Oldham
  36. Sam Phillips
  37. Lionel Richie
  38. Charlie Stripling
  39. Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thorton
  40. Sonny James (James Hugh Loden)
  41. Ottokar Cadek
  42. Dinah Washington
  43. Alabama Shakes 
  44. Thomas Clanton Calloway
  45. Taylor Hicks
  46. Jess Meuse
  47. Ruben Studdard
  48. Diana DeGarmo
  49. Davis Eli “David” Ruffin 
  50. Nell Rankin
  51. Wendy Holcomb-Blosser
  52. Jeanne Pruett
  53. Vestal Goodman
  54. Bobby Goldsboro
  55. Vernon Derrick
  56. Melba Montgomery
  57. Gordon Terry
  58. Mark Harris
  59. Vern Gosdin
  60. Roger Murrah
  61. William Lee Golden
  62. Jamey Johnson
  63. Bobby Edwards
  64. Bobby Tomberlin
  65. Bo Bice

ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Exploration: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 1) is a collection of lost and forgotten stories about the people and history of Alabama.

ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Exploration: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 1) (Paperback)
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Additional Images:Img - 1503276007
Img - 1503276007

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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