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In farewells

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They didn't follow the path to stardom most country stars do, but Alabama made it to the top of the country heap.

As Wildcountry, cousins Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry and friend Jeff Cook cut their musical teeth in Myrtle Beach in the late '60s. Country was just one of the genres the trio performed for tips at Myrtle's Bowery bar. Cover tunes made their living, and the band did everything from Z.Z. Top's "Francine" to Roy Acuff's "Great Speckled Bird." But after nearly 40 years the boys have decided to call it quits. Rumor has it that the mono-browed one (Randy) has thought he was the star for years now and the pudgy one (Cooke) and the demented preacher look-alike (Gentry) along with drummer Herndon (he's behind the kit so nobody knows what he looks like) have had enough. And unlike Cher, these divas mean business, and it's good business--for them.

If you want to get a close look before saying goodbye, Alltel Pavilion says a reserved seat will set you back 45 to 1,000 clams this Saturday, July 12. Call Ticketmaster, 834-4000, or visit tickemaster.com for tickets.

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