“If You’re Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)” is a song that Murray Kellum and Dan Mitchell wrote. American country music band Alabama made the cover of the said track. Released by RCA in July 1984, it was the B-side of the third single from the Roll On album. Though their label released “I’m Not That Way Anymore” as the A-side, radio programmers favored the flipside. The single gave the group its 14th consecutive top-notcher on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.
Several weeks after its release, “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)” found its spot on the Billboard chart. “I’m Not That Way Anymore” charted alongside, being listed as a tag-along B-side. Since the intention was for “I’m Not That Way Anymore” to be the A-side, the song had an accompanying music video filmed at Fort Payne High School.
When you listen to the chorus, you will hear “Faded Love” by Texas musician Bob Wills and “Louisiana Man” by Doug Kershaw. The band repeatedly mentioned these in the song.
Considered as an ode to Texas and country music, this toe-tapper gets the biggest crowd reaction up to this day. There is something mysterious and contagious about this rowdy up-tempo number.
In a review, Kip Kirby of Billboard magazine gave the song a favorable remark. He said that apparently, the American country music band takes pleasure in the high-energy instrumental romp through roots.
Single and Album Edits
The single edit was more than a minute shorter than the original album version. In the single version, they removed two features:
- the opening fanfare where they featured Alabama’s vocalists
- a second repeat of the refrain
The version that appears on the band’s Greatest Hits Vol. III album erases the intro. However, keeping the extra refrain.