Country Music Groups Of The 80s: Who Was Your Favorite? #moreclassywriting

Country Music Groups of the 80s ~

country music

The 80s were a decade of big change for country music. The genre started a bit of a move away from outlaw music and picked up a bit of pop sound, which also allowed many acts to crossover onto stations that played other genres or music. With acts like Exile, Alabama and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, country music in the 80s was not only big for crossover success, it was also great for bands.

80s Country Music Groups

For me, some of the bands that stand out the most from the rest of the 80s country acts are Restless Heart, Sawyer Brown, the Oak Ridge Boys and, perhaps most notably, Alabama. Some other really cool bands to come out of the 80s were the Statler Brothers, the Desert Rose Band, Highway 101, the Forrester Sisters, Shenandoah, Confederate Railroad and, one of my personal favorites, the Highwaymen.

The Highwaymen: Country’s Coolest Supergroup

Highwayman – The Highwaymen

The Highwaymen was a group which comprised of Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. Johnny Rodriguez also made an appearance on one of their albums, so count him an honorary member if you like. Their song, a remake of Highwayman” garnered them a huge hit in country music.

Alabama: Country’s All Time Biggest Group

There’s No Way – Alabama

Alabama is probably the biggest band ever in country music, so I would say they were DEFINITELY the biggest of the 80s. There are far too many hits and awesome songs to post here, so I just posted one {of the many} of my faves, “There’s No Way.” I had tickets to see them in Virginia Beach, Va., one year and I ended up not being able to go. That really stinks because the band broke up when one member slapped the others with a lawsuit. Ugh. But alas, I have read internet gossip recently about a potential reunion. {Crossing my fingers!!}

Exile: Rock Band Turned Country

I Can’t Get Close Enough – Exile

Originally a rock band, Exile also had a lot of success in the country genre. Though their biggest charting single was “Kiss You All Over,” they actually had more singles actually be successful in country music. So, slap these guys in whatever genre you like, I consider them country. Oh, and if you want to be a member of a country band, try joining Exile. They have had 30+ members cycle in and out. I think that ups your odds quite a bit as compared to the average country band. Wouldn’t you agree?

Restless Heart: 30 Years and Still Going Strong

The Bluest Eyes In Texas – Restless Heart

“The Bluest Eyes In Texas” was the first song that my husband and I ever danced to, so of course it holds a special place in my heart. However, I loved this song way before I loved my husband, too. 😉 Restless Heart is actually still on tour and 2013 commemorates their 30th year as a band. Sadly, they don’t have any dates scheduled in North Carolina or Virginia that I could find, but I will keep an eye on their schedule and see if that changes. The hubby might have to take me to see them. 😉

Desert Rose Band: One Step Forward

She Don’t Love Nobody – Desert Rose Band

And finally, we reach the end of the 80s country groups that I will be highlighting for you today. The Desert Rose Band started with people moving from other groups like The Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers. With hits like “One Step Forward” and “I Still Believe In You,” the Desert Rose Band was one of the biggest groups in country in the latter part of the 80s.

Who Was Your Favorite Country Music Group Of The 80s?


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About Dawn McAlexander

Dawn has been a music lover her entire life. She went to college in Boone, NC, an area that is rich in music and culture. She also worked as a radio deejay for 8 years and grew up in Southeastern, Va, a melting pot of different musical styles and traditions. She has been to more concerts than she can count in every genre you can imagine. She resides in North Carolina with her furbabies and her massive collection of Disney memorabilia.


  1. I like Alabama – good music & harmonies.

  2. Julia Cosgrove says

    Alabama was definitely my fave from the 80’s.

  3. I met the oak ridge boys after hearing them at the opry in 1983. They were great performers and four really nice gentlemen. It was a thrill!

  4. I was into rock music in the 80’s but I remember my mom loving Statler Brother, Oak Ridge Boys and Kenny Rogers

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