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December 8

The Story Behind “Dixieland Delight” by Alabama

“Dixieland Delight” is a song written by Ronnie Rogers. The American country music band Alabama recorded the track. Released in January 1983, it was the opening single from the album The Closer You Get. On Billboard magazine’s Hot Country Singles chart, “Dixieland Delight” became Alabama’s ninth chart-topper.

Ronnie Rogers, the Songwriter, also wrote hits with Ed Bruce, Dave Dudley, Tanya Tucker and others. When he was driving down Highway 11W, a Tennessee road in Rutledge, Tennessee, the idea came to him. Its first line: “Rollin’ down a backwoods, Tennessee byway; one arm on the wheel”, made Ronnie create a sweet image. While one hand is on the wheel, the other is wrapped around his girlfriend. After a long, hard work week, the character is imagining a fun and relaxing weekend with her. Mr. Rogers said all these to country music journalist Tom Roland.

Single and Album Edits

When Alabama recorded the song, it was totally different from the acoustic demo cut by Rogers.

As a single for release, the original album version was edited by nearly 1½ minutes. The differences include:

  • Half of the introduction was removed.
  • The fiddle bridges are shorter.
  • The fade-out comes earlier.

The edited single can be heard in several of Alabama’s greatest hits collections. One of it is in the album For the Record. The full-length album version is on the band’s second greatest hits album.

Due to its popularity, at all Alabama football home games, they play the track. However, in 2014 the organizers banned it from the events because there were complaints about the vulgarity of the accompanying crowd chants. The last time football fanatics heard it was during the 2014 Iron Bowl game against the Auburn Tigers.

Up to this time, “Dixieland Delight” remains one of the American country music band’s most popular songs.


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