Not that long ago, the boys in Alabama were the "new kids on the block." Promoters tried to link the foursome with an established act to make sure fans would turn out to see the show.

Well, times change.Now Alabama is the tried-and-true country act - having been

named Vocal Group of the '80s.

Clint Black is the fresh face on tour.

And both Black and 'Bama will be at the University of Utah's Huntsman Center at 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18.

Black's reputation doesn't need a lot of bucking up, however. He's the CMA Vocalist of the Year, and personality profiles of the man have appeared in Time Magazine and other mainstream publications.

Black - like Vern Gosdin and Randy Travis - could have earned the nickname "The Voice," if it weren't taken. His hits "Better Man," "The Lights are On" and "Walking Away" showcased a vocal talent that sets him easily among the top five set of pipes in the business.

His Texas roots and George Strait good looks don't hurt either.

As for Alabama, they keep rolling on - like the Big Wheels they sing about. Randy Owen keeps singing. Jeff Cook keeps picking. And just when you think the group has run out of steam and worn out its welcome, the boys come up with a song like "Jukebox in my Mind," a country classic before the ink dried on the lead sheets.

'Bama has reached the point where the boys could fill a show entirely with No. 1 hits if they liked. Conway Twitty, George Jones and George Strait are among the few other acts that could pull of such a feat.

For information call KSOP Radio at 972-1043. - Jerry Johnston.