On This Date: Alabama Was Topping The Country Charts With Their Southern Anthem “Dixieland Delight” In 1983

Alabama country music

41 years ago today.

On this day in 1983, Alabama released their classic sing-along anthem “Dixieland Delight,” which was the lead single to their 7th-career studio album, The Closer You Get. It was part of a string of record-breaking 21 straight #1 singles from 1980 to 1987, and has since been certified Platinum.

Written by Ronnie Rogers, it become one of th ebiggest and most recognizable hits of Alabama’s impressive career, and an 80’s country standard. Of course, it’s also been adopted as a fight song of the Alabama Crimson Tide and used for SEC college football games across the South, and covered by many country artists over the decades as well.

Ronnie told AL.com in 2018 that it was inspired while he was quite literally “rolling down the backwoods” in Tennessee:

“I came to a stop sign at a dead-end road and the thought just came ‘rolling down the backwoods, Tennessee by-way,’ which is what I was doing. ‘One arm on the wheel…’ and I finished about half of it that day.

And the chorus. I went home and a guy came to my house asking what songs I’ve written in a week and I played him the half of the song and he said ‘Man, you have to finish that. There’s a group called Alabama cutting next week and I think they might like this song.’

So, well, I went out in the woods and I didn’t know where I was going. I look around and there was a white-tail buck deer, a red-tail hawk sitting on a limb and a chubby old groundhog was all around me. So I said ‘God, thank you.’ I wrote it all down and they liked it.'”

While Rogers says the song was written about Leipers Fork, Tennessee, the state of Alabama has clearly adopted it for obvious reasons, though Alabama frontman Randy Owen played it coy when asked whether he could finally settle that debate once and for all:

“I hope they keep debating.”

There ya have it, folks.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter, and personally, I think the entire South has adopted the song as their anthem in some sense because it never misses with a crowd down here.

It’s one of the first country songs I remember hearing and loving, because it has always reminded me of home and the unique and special place that the entire South is… and like I said, absolutely nothing will get the crowd going like this one. If you know you know.

Alright, now I’m ready for football season… turn it up:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock