The Alabama Fan Club and Museum is the fan headquarters and museum dedicated to the music group Alabama, which formed in Fort Payne, DeKalb County, in 1969. Alabama was a renowned and award-winning country music band that primarily wrote and played songs about Alabama and southern culture.
Alabama Sculpture Fort Payne natives and cousins Randy Owen, Jeff Cook, and Teddy Gentry frequently played together in high school and college, performing under the name Wild Country. In 1979, they changed their name to Alabama and recruited Massachusetts native Mark Herndon to play the drums. The band performed as Alabama between 1979 and 2004, winning awards, releasing top singles, and being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2005 after disbanding the previous year. Throughout their career and after their retirement, the cousins remained in Fort Payne.
Alabama Grammy Award The building the museum occupies was originally the Rains-Shanks Chevrolet dealership, which the band bought and renovated as a museum in the early 1980s; it opened in 1985. The museum houses and displays some 50 years of band memorabilia, including stage costumes, instruments, posters, photos, and awards. The museum was renovated and reopened in June 2018. It features a guitar-shaped layout and separate sections for each member. The collections were expanded as well, and band members donated new items, including handwritten copies of songs that reached number one on the country music charts. The members of Alabama attended the reopening ceremony, cutting the ribbon in front of the museum to officially open it once more. The band celebrated its first Fan Appreciation Week since 1997 in 2019 at the museum. This was an event similar to their former June Jam charity concerts, which were held from 1982 to 1997. The band headlined popular musical acts from around the country to raise money for local charities and schools. The June Jam series always attracted tens of thousands of fans each year before downsizing in 1996 and ending in 1997.
The museum is located at 101 Glenn Blvd. SW. It has a gift shop and is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. Admission is $10.00. There is no charge to go into the gift shop. Nearby in Fort Payne, there are bronze statues of the members of Alabama located in city park. Also nearby are the Fort Payne Depot Museum and the Fort Payne Opera House.