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Teddy Gentry, Founding Member Of Country Band Alabama, Is Arrested On A Drug Charge

Teddy Gentry, Founding Member Of Country Band Alabama, Is Arrested On A Drug Charge

Teddy Gentry, a founding member of the group, was booked into the Cherokee County Jail on Monday and released less than 30 minutes later

Grammy-winning country band, Alabama's founding member Teddy Gentry was arrested on Monday and charged with a misdemeanor drug offense in the state the band shares a name, jail records show.

Gentry, 70, of Fort Payne was booked into the Cherokee County Jail in northeast Alabama and released about a half-hour later, records showed. He also was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Court records weren’t immediately available, but Sheriff Jeff Shaver told al.com the arrest was made during a traffic stop.



 

Per Alabama law, unlawful possession in the second degree means the weed was for personal use only, and both of Gentry's charges are misdemeanors, as recreational marijuana is not legal in the state. A rep for Alabama confirmed that the incident is not expected to impact the band's upcoming tour dates, which are scheduled through December. Its next gig is scheduled for Sept. 23 at Ball Arena in Denver. Colorado was famously one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana use.



 

Alabama was formed in 1969 in Fort Payne as Wildcountry by cousins Randy Owen, Gentry, and Jeff Cook. The band changed its name to Alabama in 1977 and became one of the most successful groups in country music, peaking in the 1980s with multi-platinum albums and a slew of radio hits that included “Tennessee River,” “Mountain Music,” “Dixieland Delight,” “The Closer You Get,” “Song of the South,” “Roll On (Eighteen Wheeler)” and many more.  It staged a 50th anniversary tour in 2019.

Credits: GettyImages | Picture by Jason Davis
Credits: GettyImages | Picture by Jason Davis

It won the CMA's album of the year award in 1983 for "The Closer You Get." The song also earned the group a Grammy in 1984 for best country performance by a duo or group. Alabama won in the same category the previous year for "Mountain Music." The "Dixieland Delight" singers were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005, and have sold 73 million albums and notched 21 straight No. 1 singles, according to their website.

The group said it was retiring from the road and staged a farewell tour in 2007, but has since returned to performing, particularly through Randy Owen's charitable efforts with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. Most recently, the Alabama bandmates presented a $25,000 check to the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky ahead of their performance in Sharpsburg, Ky.; the donation was a response to this summer's devastating flooding in eastern Kentucky.

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