Randy Featured by ‘American Songwriter Magazine’
Randy reveals song-writing secrets, recounts stories from his days with Alabama and discusses his solo career in an exclusive interview with ‘American Songwriter Magazine.’
What is your usual process for writing a song, and has it changed over the years?
I wish I had a formula - like the great writers - but that is not me. I wish I could!
One of the great Alabama songs, “Feels So Right”…one of the newly-recorded songs on the new CD The Last Stand, is only available at Cracker Barrel. Do you remember writing that one?
I was 17 and wrote that song one afternoon about my sweetheart. I had never known anyone that was as beautiful as that girl. A couple years later I played it for a girl from West Virginia, back when we were playing at The Bowery in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I was thinking about changing the 2nd verse and, when I played the song, she told me not to re-write that 2nd verse. So I didn't. I played at the Bowery one night, and people seemed to like it. When Alabama became bigger I played it for [our producer] Harold Shedd in the studio at The Music Mill in Nashville. We cut the song, and I didn’t play my original licks, but the musicians made it sound so good…I sang the song that night, and people in the studio felt really good about it... “Feels So Right.” When we were doing the 2nd June Jam in Fort Payne, Alabama, I was singing that song, looked across the lights…and the light beam was in the face of the girl that I wrote the song for years earlier; we smiled at each other - it was a special moment.
Now…who did you co-write with for your upcoming solo album [as yet unreleased], produced by John Rich?
I've been writing with John Rich and his crew - Shannon Lawson, James Otto, and Vicky McGehee - The Muzik Mafia folks. I love those people…takes me back to the Myrtle Beach days. The Muzik Mafia is what I stepped into in Myrtle Beach in 1973 - all the varieties of music and people - and they all loved music of all kinds…rock, country, southern rock…Mickey Spillain, the famed author, used to hang out with us. He would buy us beers when we didn’t have a lot of money. We’d go to his house on Murrell’s Inlet, just below Myrtle Beach, we’d have an oyster fry and shrimp and a bunch of great food on many Sunday afternoons. I saw him a couple years ago before he passed way, and he said he was working on another book at the time.
Which songwriter that is no longer with us would you have loved to have written song with, if it would have been possible?
[Pause] HANK - The king of them all!
See the full interview at americansongwriter.com.