Local audiences experienced pure “dixieland delight” at a “good time jamboree” last Saturday at the DeKalb Theatre. The “Boys in the Band” tribute concert served as a fundraiser for The SAM Foundation and Fort Payne Main Street organization.

Michael Weatherly appeared as lead singer Randy Owen, Matty Croxton as bassist Teddy Gentry, Marcus Mullins as guitarist Jeff Cook, and Brax Harris as longtime drummer Mark Herndon, with Dan Barker accompanying on keyboards.

The “boys” were moved by the hometown reception and beyond cloud nine when two members of the group, Owen and Cook, went onstage at the finale to sing two of their hits, 1980’s “My Home’s in Alabama” and the 1982 holiday classic “Christmas in Dixie,” both of which heavily reference small town life in Fort Payne. Gentry was unable to attend.

“I cannot describe how amazing this experience was,” Weatherly said after sharing the stage with his idol, Owen. “My heartfelt gratitude goes to my bandmasters, my family, all of our hardworking volunteers, the City of Fort Payne, and without question, a very special thank you to Randy and Jeff for making it a truly unforgettable night.”

Weatherly, a Fort Payne native who now works as an actor in Nashville, was spot on in his impersonation of Owen, down to mannerisms familiar to all who watched Alabama perform over the years in June Jam concerts. The new event included a $1,000 donation to the Jam charity fund, which still exists despite the actual concerts ending in 1997.

Nicole Goggans and Julie Smith accepted a $6,500 check on behalf of The SAM Foundation, which is dedicated to suicide prevention and awareness programs. Another check for $6,500 was presented to Tim Harris, director of Fort Payne Main Street.

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