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11.20.08
Randy Owen in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Alabama frontman shares his life story Randy Owen to sign books at Borders

By RODNEY HO
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Thursday, November 20, 2008

Unlike Maureen McCormick’s recent autobiography featuring cocaine, multiple sexual partners and a hazy date with Steve Martin, Alabama lead singer Randy Owen’s memoir, “Born Country,” is tame.

There’s no gossip dishing about his fellow country singers, no drug problems, no sexual escapades, no deep revelations about his pysche beyond delayed anger related to his dad’s death right before Alabama went big. But the book shows he has a good heart, a good family and an incredible career that includes more than 73 million albums sold, 42 No. 1 country songs and a Country Music Hall of Fame induction.

“I just felt it was the right time to write a book,” said Owen, who lives in the place he grew up: Lookout Mountain, 90 miles from Atlanta in the northeastern corner of Alabama. One thing he learned about himself is how poor he was as a child. “The point was to show a kid raised out in the sticks, so to speak, can work hard and do what I did,” he said. “It encourages kids to be proud of where they’re from.”

And though he talks about the death of his friend Dale Earnhardt Sr. with sincerity, he didn’t feel a need to write lengthy anecdotes about celebrities or wacky stories on the road during Alabama’s heyday. “I really admire the guy picking beans, the one building houses or laying brick,” he said. “These to me are the real, true heroes. I don’t enjoy hanging out with celebrities.”

Owen does name drop one Atlanta celebrity: former Y106/Eagle morning host Rhubarb Jones, who began teaching at Kennesaw State University after Eagle changed to oldies in February. “He went to school with me, and we remained friends for years,” Owen said.

And though his father died at age 59, Owen said he’s doing well at 59. “I try to eat right,” he said. “I feel this is the only body that God gave me. I try to take care of it best as I can.”

He’s also promoting a new solo album “One on One,” out last week. And Alabama fans will have to wait if they want to see the band back together again. “We had our farewell tour [back in 2003-04]. We haven’t had any plans to do any more.”

Randy Owen will sign copies of his book, ‘Born Country,’ at 7 Friday night, November 21st, at Borders, 3637 Peachtree Road N.E., Atlanta.

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