Long-delayed Alabama concert at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre postponed again until July 23, 2021
From a press release:
Following the guidance of public health officials regarding COVID-19, the Country Music Hall of Famers are postponing their 50th anniversary show set for for Oct. 2, 2020 and rescheduling it for Friday, July 23, 2021 at 7 p.m.
All tickets purchased for the original performance date(s) will be honored on the new date. This includes any tickets purchased for the previous dates, including April 12, 2019; Aug. 29, 2019; and Oct. 2, 2020. For ticketholders who can’t attend the new date, refunds are available at the original point of purchase, including ticketmaster.com and the NBT Bank Box Office at Mohegan Sun Arena (255 Highland Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre).
First announced in October of 2018, the show was originally postponed after vocalist/guitarist Randy Owen came down with “a severe sinus infection and an infected throat,” then again due to Owen’s “ongoing complications with cluster migraines and vertigo.” It was pushed to Oct. 2 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but conditions have not improved enough for the band’s 50th Anniversary Tour to continue at this time.
Additionally, The Charlie Daniels Band was going to open the Wilkes-Barre concert but the 83-year-old singer recently died of a stroke on July 6. Next year, Alabama will be part of an all-star lineup honoring Daniels at his annual Volunteer Jam in Tennessee.
“[There is] nobody I respected or admired, in this world, any more than my real friend, Charlie Daniels,” Owen said.
“From the ’80s until last year, I’ve had the pleasure of not only touring but getting to know Charlie Daniels. He was everything on stage a great artist should be… but it was the offstage Charlie I grew to love over the years. Many times Charlie would answer the call to do charity work and never charge a cent. He set a humble example of what a man, a friend, and Christian should be by the way he treated others. I’m gonna miss you my friend,” Alabama bassist Teddy Gentry recalled.
“The passing of Charlie Daniels is not only a huge loss for the industry but a personal loss… Charlie has been a personal friend throughout our career and we consider him family. Charlie was a patriot that stood for the good of all men. Charlie, you will be missed, my friend,” Alabama guitarist/fiddler Jeff Cook added.
It’s been 50 years since Randy Owen, Jeff Cook, and Teddy Gentry left the cotton farms of Fort Payne, Alabama to spend the summer playing music in a Myrtle Beach, South Carolina bar called The Bowery. It is a classic American tale of rags to riches, from humble beginnings picking cotton in the fields to international stars that went on to sell 80 million albums while changing the face and sound of country music.
Quality songs that have become the soundtrack for American life are the foundation for Alabama’s stellar career. Alabama introduced rock-style guitars, lights, pyrotechnics, and sounds to the country audience that has inspired many of today’s brightest country stars, including Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, and Luke Bryan.
“I thank God I’m here to see these great artists see fit to sing some of the songs we did,” says Owen, with the everyman sincerity that has helped so many identify with the humbly born superstars.
“More than anything, our longevity is a tribute to the hard work we did in selecting songs because it’s the songs that people remember,” Gentry says.
“We were renegades in sneakers and T-shirts. We had long hair and played loud and some of the country folks resisted us for a while. But then, of course, they did accept us, and then after that, our success made it lots easier for other bands to try it in country music.”
While their music continues to stand the test of time, their numbers and stats are beyond compare. Five decades since starting the band, Alabama has charted 43 No. 1 singles, including 21 No. 1 singles in a row, and have won over 179 CMA Awards, Grammy Awards, and ACM Awards. They are members of the Country Music Hall of Fame and have their own star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They are also world-class philanthropists who have raised over 250 million dollars for charity.
“A lot of fans will start a conversation with, ‘I don’t want to bother you,'” says Cook, “but what they don’t understand is that everything that’s happened to us, every one of those awards, happened because we’ve been accepted and supported by our fans.”