In the early '80s, my dad and step-mom took us to an ALABAMA concert in Ozark, AL. It was my first real concert, ever. Our seats were in the balcony, to the left of the stage. The song "Mountain Music" was one of my favorites. Years later, in Uzbekistan, when I felt homesick, I would play an ALABAMA greatest hits album and sing all the lyrics. I would even envision ALABAMA to Fort Payne, AL with Dad, he drove me up to the front gate of Randy Owen's (ALABAMA's lead singer) house. Feels So Right was inscribed on the wrought-iron gate. Another interesting ALABAMA story: Dad was at a cow sale in Fort Payne. During the sale, he bowed out of a bid to buy a cow he really wanted, only to discover that the gentleman who outbid him was an ALABAMA band member - I think, Teddy Gentry. I saw ALABAMA two other times in concert. The last one was in Dothan in the '90s.
I did not even know who Keith Whitley was until my Mobile, Alabama friend introduced me to him during our stint in Uzbekistan. His name had never even registered with me. And I grew up in the Deep South. I was way more into pop music I guess.
In 2000, when I was in Ubud, the cultural capital of Bali (Indonesia), I bought some pirated music CDs (might have even been cassettes even). One was a Bryan Adams CD. Cloud Number Nine, Back To You, I'm Ready and Heaven were the songs I loved the most. One perfect night, while all alone in a guesthouse swimming pool, I listened to Cloud Number Nine, and it moved me like no other. Being in that idyllic environment was part of it. Falling in love was another big part! This interest in Bryan Adams music stems from this time in Bali, and it was a big reason why Kade and I saw him in Vegas last year.
During my time in Thailand, from 2000-2005, these songs were very popular. Kade was a huge Backstreet Boys fan!!!