This is Fan Appreciation Weekend for country supergroup Alabama.
Though the band officially retired in 2003, the three Fort Payne musicians - Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry and Jeff Cook - have upheld the tradition of giving back to their fans with a series of June gatherings.
As is also tradition, charities will benefit from the musicians' philanthropic efforts.
Though not a fan-club event, the biggest of these projects is Tuesday's Bama Rising concert in Birmingham. Alabama is spearheading the benefit show for tornado recovery that will bring, at last count, 17 top country artists to the Birmingham BJCC Arena. Among others scheduled to perform are Brad Paisley, Sara Evans, Sheryl Crow, Martina McBride, Montgomery Gentry and Darius Rucker.
Fan-club members may attend a Songwriters Showcase tonight at City Auditorium in Fort Payne and a Randy Owen and Jeff Cook concert Saturday in Owen's barn. Proceeds from tonight's event go to John Croyle's Big Oak Ranch.
Those attending the Owen/Cook concert are asked to bring an item to donate to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Disaster Relief Fund to aid tornado victims. According to www.thealabamaband.com, there is a desperate need for hygiene products, such as soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hairbrushes, deodorant and diapers.
Meanwhile, Gentry will be at the Fort Payne City Auditorium for three shows with the musicians involved with his latest projects: his "Best New Nashville" artists and the band he performs in and manages, Rockit City.
Proceeds from two shows Saturday night go to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Reserve Disaster Relief Fund. Gentry's gospel show Sunday morning benefits the Children's Advocacy Center of DeKalb County.
For more information, visit www.thealabamaband.com or call 256-845-1646.
Schedule of events
Note: All times are Central. Some events open only to fan-club members. Schedule subject to change.
Today: Songwriters Showcase, 7 p.m., Fort Payne City Auditorium. $50 (limited availability).
Saturday: Teddy Gentry's "Best New Nashville" artists make an in-store appearance at 1 p.m. at the Fort Payne Cracker Barrel, 201 Cracker Barrel Road (Exit 218 off I-59).
Saturday: Randy Owen and Jeff Cook concert, 7:30 p.m., Randy Owen's barn, 5053 County Road 255, Fort Payne (gate opens at noon). You must be a Randy Owen or Jeff Cook fan-club member. Randy Owen memberships may be purchased at the gate. Or you may present a ticket for the Jeff Cook Fan Appreciation Show, which was canceled. Drinks will be provided. Coolers and chairs are welcome.
Saturday: Teddy Gentry's "Best New Nashville" and Rockit City concert at City Auditorium, 7 and 9 p.m. Free; donations accepted for DeKalb County Sheriff's Reserve Disaster Relief.
Sunday: Teddy Gentry gospel show at City Auditorium, 10 a.m. $10. Proceeds go to the Children's Advocacy Center of DeKalb County.
Sunday: Fan-club autograph session, noon, Alabama Fan Club, intersection of state Highway 35 and U.S. Highway 11. Lunch will be provided.
Tuesday: Alabama is spearheading Bama Rising: A Benefit Concert for Alabama Tornado Recovery in Birmingham's BJCC Arena. Other featured artists include Brad Paisley, Sara Evans, Sheryl Crow, Martina McBride, Montgomery Gentry and Darius Rucker. Tickets range from $25 to $150 at www.ticketmaster.com. VIP packages also are available. Visit www.bamarising.org for more information.
June 24: Chip Davis, Dillon Dixon and Jimmy Stewart, three artists on Gentry's "Best New Nashville" CD, will be in concert at City Auditorium, Fort Payne.