Randy Owen brings mountain music to the Gallo Center

(Laurie McAdam / The Modesto Bee)
(Laurie McAdam / The Modesto Bee)

As the lead singer of Alabama, Randy Owen belted out hits like "Mountain Music" and "If You're Going to Play in Texas (You've Got to Have a Fiddle in the Band)."

When he takes the stage Sept. 21, at the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto, audience members can expect to hear those familiar favorites, as well as recent solo releases like "Braid My Hair" and "Like I Never Broke Your Heart" — both from Owen's upcoming solo album, "One on One."

Although Alabama hasn't been around since 2003, Owen remains on the concert circuit, this time as a solo act. "One on One" — he wrote or co-wrote seven of the 11 cuts — is set for a release in November.

The artist also wrote an autobiography, scheduled to hit the shelves at about the same time. The book, "Born Country," chronicles Owen's life in northeast Alabama, from his childhood as the son of sharecroppers to his first record contract to the moment he and the other members of Alabama became part of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Owen formed the band Wild Country, which morphed into Alabama in 1980, with his cousins. The group quickly reached superstardom, with 21 gold, platinum and multiplatinum albums, 42 No. 1 singles and more than 65 records sold to date. Alabama is the ninth-biggest-selling group of all time.

Owen himself is the recipient of more than 150 industry awards, including eight Country Music Entertainer of the Year honors, two Grammys, two People's Choice Awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In the spring of 2007, four years after the Alabama Farewell Tour, Owen started hitting the road with a brand-new brand and a renewed enthusiasm for performing. Among his solo songs is "Braid My Hair," which tells the story of a girl with cancer and the things she'd like to do after chemotherapy, like climb trees, ride a bike and braid her regrown hair.

Part of the proceeds from the digital sales of this release go to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Owen has supported the hospital since 1989 and also has given to schools, public service organizations, hospitals, youth ranches and scholarships.