Born Country: How Faith, Family, and Music Brought Me Home by Randy Owen

By Randy Owen

From front guy, and lead singer/songwriter of Alabama---the greatest state song staff of all time---comes an inspiring memoir of religion, relatives, and residing the yank dream.

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But I’m pretty sure he dreamed of becoming a commercial success as a singer and guitar player. He loved recording the Owen Family album, and whenever there was an opportunity to play live on a country radio station, he was there. He was a born performer, and he played that urge out as best he could, mostly for love offerings and the gratitude of area country people. He certainly passed that spark of ambition on to me. On the other hand, I think a lot of my own ambition came from the inside, not from an outside role model like my mama or daddy.

But our main activity as kids, other than school, was working alongside our folks. Besides raising livestock and much of the food we ate, my daddy farmed forty acres of his own land and then often sharecropped other land. There were two forms of sharecropping he practiced. One was straight sharecropping, 30 H O M E where you work another person’s land, split the cost of fertilizer and seed, and literally “share” the crop that is produced on some proportional basis—halves, or thirds, or fourths.

The butter makes itself, she says. All she’s got to do is clean the machine afterward. Plus, she made all our clothes. She could make anything. When I was going to grade school, she made everything I wore— pants, shirt, even my cap. As Reba remembers, Mama was so good that she would spot a new dress in a Sears, Roebuck catalog and proceed to make it without a pattern. ” It was an analogy about instinctively 32 H O M E knowing the way of the Lord, but Reba says every time she hears those lines, she remembers the seeming miracle of Mama’s making a dress that fit from scratch, already knowing the pattern.

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