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A popular country band of the '80s and '90s, Shenandoah combined a tuneful, radio-friendly sound with melodies and arrangements that harked back to a more traditional style. Shenandoah were formed in 1984 in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Guitarist Jim Seales and drummer Mike McGuire, both session musicians, assembled the group, bringing aboard bassist Ralph Ezell and keyboard man Stan Thorn, both of whom were also studio players. With the addition of lead singer Marty Raybon, the lineup was complete, and they began playing as the MGM Band. After McGuire brought songwriter Robert Byrne out to see the new group, Byrne arranged for them to cut a demo tape, which won the group a deal with Columbia Records. The deal with Columbia came with a small catch: the label believed the name the MGM Band could cause legal problems, so the group adopted the new handle Shenandoah, suggested to them by Columbia. The group's self-titled debut album, released in 1987, was a more polished and pop-oriented effort than their best-known work, though they reached the country Top 30 early in 1988 with "Stop the Rain." The following year, The Road Not Taken outlined the group's trademark approach to traditional country and it became their most successful album; six singles reached the country Top Ten, led by the number ones "The Church on Cumberland Road," "Sunday in the South," and "Two Dozen Roses." The Road Not Taken reached gold status by 1991, and earned Shenandoah the Favorite Newcomer award from Music City News. The first single from Shenandoah's third album, 1990's Extra Mile, built on the band's winning streak. "Next to You, Next to Me" became the band's biggest hit, topping the country charts for three weeks. It was followed into the Top Ten during 1990-1991 by the songs "Ghost in This House," "I Got You," and "The Moon Over Georgia." The group's streak of hit singles ended with "When You Were Mine" tiptoeing into the Top 40 in September 1991. Despite the success, trouble was brewing. Three other bands came forward in 1991 claiming rights to the name Shenandoah, and the resulting court costs and legal fees bankrupted the group by the end of the year. To make it even worse, Columbia -- who had named Shenandoah in the first place -- dropped the group from its roster. The band settled the differences by 1992 and returned to country music with a contract from RCA and the number two hit "Rock My Baby" in April of that year. Shenandoah's fourth album, 1992's Long Time Comin', also featured the Top 15 "Leavin's Been a Long Time Comin'." The group's fifth album, 1993's Under the Kudzu, continued Shenandoah's popularity, featuring the Top Five single "I Want to Be Loved Like That" and the group's fifth country chart-topper in early 1994, "If Bubba Can Dance (I Can Too)." Shenandoah moved to Liberty/Capitol in late 1994 to record their sixth album, In the Vicinity of the Heart. The album was released in January 1995, and featured the Top Tens "Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Heart" (a duet with Alison Krauss that won them a Grammy) and "Darned If I Don't (Danged If I Do)." By early 1996, Stan Thorn and Ralph Ezell had both left the band; Rocky Thacker became their new bassist, and Stan Munsey came aboard on keyboards. For 1996's Now and Then, the new lineup re-recorded many of Shenandoah's biggest hits from their time with Columbia, as well as cutting four new tunes. September 1996 brought another album, Shenandoah Christmas, which was their first holiday-themed release. In 1995, Raybon cut his first solo album, a gospel set for Sparrow Records, and in 1997 he teamed with his brother Tim Raybon for an album titled The Raybon Brothers, released by MCA Nashville. Their cover of Bob Carlisle's "Butterfly Kisses" reached the Top 40 of the country chart, and at the end of 1997, Raybon announced he was leaving Shenandoah. The group opted to disband following the loss of its singer, but the split didn't last. In 2000, Jim Seales, Mike McGuire, Stan Munsey, and Rocky Thacker re-formed as Shenandoah, with new vocalist Brent Lamb and additional guitarist Curtis Wright. This lineup cut an album named for the year it was released, 2000, and it produced one minor hit, "What Children Believe." Brent Lamb left the group in 2002, and Wright moved over to the lead vocal spot. Ralph Ezell returned to the group on bass. In 2006, Shenandoah partnered with the independent Cumberland Road label to release Journeys. It was a last hurrah for Ezell, who died on November 30, 2007, claimed by a heart attack. The band soldiered on, with Mike Folsom becoming their new bassist and Jimmy Yeary joining as lead singer. Doug Stokes took over for Yeary in 2011, and Chris Lucas became their new bassist. In August 2014, longtime fans welcomed the news that Marty Raybon had returned as lead singer of Shenandoah. With Raybon at center stage, the band's latest lineup -- Raybon, Mike McGuire, Stan Munsey, guitarist Jamie Michael, and bassist Paul Sanders -- released a new album, the gospel-themed Good News Travels Fast. ~ John Bush & Mark Deming
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Stations Featuring

    '90s Country

    '90s Country
    3 songs

    '80s Country

    '80s Country
    4 songs

    Classic Country

    Classic Country
    2 songs

Albums by

Top Songs by

  1.   Song
  2.   Mama Knows
  3.   The Church on Cumberland Road
  4.   Sunday in the South
  5.   Two Dozen Roses
  6.   Next to You, Next to Me
  7.   I Want to Be Loved Like That
  8.   Moon Over Georgia
  9.   Sunday in the South
  10.   Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Heart
  11.   Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Heart by Alison Krauss
  12.   If Bubba Can Dance (I Can Too)
  13.   I Got You
  14.   Ghost in This House
  15.   Darned If I Don't (Danged If I Do)
  16.   Two Dozen Roses
  17.   Can't Buy Me Love
  18.   Just Say the Word
  19.   Next to You, Next to Me
  20.   To Those Who Dream featuring A. Paul Ortega
  21.   You Can Say That
  22.   She's a Natural
  23.   Always Have, Always Will
  24.   Daddy's Little Man
  25.   Nickel in the Well
  26.   What Else You Got to Live For
  27.   Setting Sun featuring A. Paul Ortega
  28.   Beulah Land
  29.   Didn't It Rain
  30.   Blessing the Little Ones featuring A. Paul Ortega
  31.   After the 49 featuring A. Paul Ortega
  32.   Wooden Cross
  33.   Winter Wonderland
  34.   White Christmas
  35.   When You Were Mine
  36.   There's a Way in the Manger
  37.   The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
  38.   She Doesn't Cry Anymore
  39.   Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
  40.   Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
  41.   O Little Town of Bethlehem
  42.   O Come All Ye Faithful
  43.   If It Takes Every Rib I've Got
  44.   I'll Be Home for Christmas
  45.   Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  46.   Any Ole Stretch of Blacktop
  47.   Deeper Than That
  48.   Seconds Count by Karen Peck
  49.   A Cross Between a Sinner and a Saint
  50.   Under the Kudzu
  51.   The Road Not Taken
  52.   The Blues Are Comin' Over to Your House
  53.   She Makes the Coming Home (Worth the Being Gone)
  54.   See If I Care
  55.   Puttin' New Roots Down
  56.   Nowhere to Go But Back
  57.   Lonely Too Long
  58.   I'll Go Down Loving You
  59.   I Will Know You
  60.   Her Love Is a Miracle
  61.   Hard Country
  62.   Goin' Down With My Pride
  63.   All Over But the Shoutin'
  64.   (It's Hard to Live Up To) The Rock
  65.   I Know He Knows
  66.   If I'm Right
  67.   Like Every Days a Sunday
  68.   Stained Glass
  69.   Sweetheart featuring A. Paul Ortega
  70.   One Kind of Woman I Like
  71.   Heaven Bound (I'm Ready)
  72.   Changes
  73.   She's All I've Got Going
  74.   Janie Baker's Love Slave
  75.   Sunday Moaning Sermon
  76.   Just Wait, Be Still
  77.   A Prayer For Sundancer featuring A. Paul Ortega
  78.   I May Want a Man featuring A. Paul Ortega
  79.   If Love Is Kind featuring A. Paul Ortega

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