Every Alabama fan knows Yea, Alabama and Rammer Jammer, but many people may not know of the Tide’s various appearances in popular music over the generations. Here are a few samples from various points in history. This list is not complete, to be sure; are there others you can think of that we missed?
1. Football Freddie- A 1930’s jazz tune about Alabama’s Fred Sington. The song has been attributed to Rudy Vallee, among others, but despite the confusion as to who made the song a hit, it helped spread the Alabama legend of the Wallace Wade era around the nation.
2. Toys in the Attic- The 1975 album by Aerosmith doesn’t mention the Tide by name, but features a toy Big Al on the cover. Listed by Rolling Stone as one of the 500 Greatest Albums of all time, millions of Americans now have a drawing of Alabama’s favorite elephant in their homes.
3. Deacon Blues- Steely Dan’s 1977 song contrasted the winners in the world with the losers in the world by comparing Alabama’s winning tradition to Wake Forest’s (at that time) perennial losing status. Although an enormous hit for the band, many fans are surprised to hear it for the first time today.
4. Sweet Southern Comfort- we’ve covered the crooner era, rock, and whatever genre Steely Dan played — now here’s a country hit featuring the line “Roll Tide Roll.” Buddy Jewel made the song a hit in 2004 but fans of rock, rap, or glitter country may have missed it.
5. Southern Voice- Tim McGraw had a number 1 country hit with this song that crossed over onto the Billboard Hot 100 too. Although it didn’t reach the top 40 on the rock charts, how can you complain about a song that mentions Jesus, Bear Bryant and the Crimson Tide within a three minute stretch?
Today, celebrities ranging from Melissa Joan Hart to Mac Powell often tweet about Tide related things. As you can see, Alabama’s rise to national prominence, even in pop culture, began a long time ago. Feel free to write us with more suggestions and, as Trace Atkins says, “Ala-Freaking-Bama.”
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