The crossover country trio Alabama brought a new meaning to their song “High Cotton” yesterday (Sept. 12). The band’s founding member and bass player, Teddy Gentry, was arrested on a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge. He was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, as well.

Gentry, aged 70, was reportedly arrested during a traffic stop and booked into the Cherokee County Jail in northeast Alabama at 10:38 a.m. Arrest records show he was released a half-hour later.

A spokesman for the band gave no immediate comment.

Alabama was formed in 1969 in Fort Payne, Alabama by cousins Randy Owen, Gentry, and Jeff Cook. The height of the band’s success did not come until the 1980s, a decade in which the band had over 27 No. 1 hits. Their first major single came with the release of “Tennessee River,” and a streak of back-to-back bangers would follow. Their country-meets-bluegrass-meets-rock tunes like “Mountain Music,” “Dixieland Delight,” “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band),” and “Song of the South” would go on to define country music throughout the ‘80s.

Their popularity waned with the ’90s, and following a 2004 farewell tour, Alabama disbanded. They staged a 50th-anniversary tour in 2019 and have since resumed touring. Over the course of their career, the band has seen over 70 million albums sold, a Country Music Hall of Fame induction, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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