Alan Jackson Biography
Review The Artist (17)
It will come as no surprise to music fans that Alan Jackson is, himself, a traditional country music fan with a storehouse of honky-tonk classics in his repertoire. What might open a few eyes is the fact that a man who is so red hot as a songwriter today would pause in his career to tip his hat to the songs of the past.
Under the Influence finds the much-awarded Jackson kicking back to relax with his buddies in the studio. He says he did the album for fun, without heed to commerciality. Somewhat to his surprise, the executives at Arista/Nashville have embraced the project as enthusiastically as they have any of his previous works.
"The new country fans, including many of the people at Arista, weren't born when a lot of these songs were out," Jackson observes. "And even I wasn't very old when a couple of them were released."
"Originally, I just wanted to do this album for me and some of my fans who might be interested in it. I didn't set out for it to be a commercial album. I thought it would just be something interesting for Arista to put in the catalog. Now they're wanting to release singles from it and everything. I said, 'Fine with me.'"
"Pop A Top," Jackson's revival of country star Jim Ed Brown's 1967 classic, is one of the great barroom shuffles. Although Jackson was only nine years old when Brown originally made it a smash, the tune fits his baritone like a glove. George Jones first sang the romping "Revenoor Man" when Jackson was a five-year-old in kindergarten. Jones, who duetted memorably with Jackson on 1994's "A Good Year For The Roses," is also saluted on the new CD via Jackson's reworking of 1973's "Once You've Had The Best." Jones was the first of the legendary artists who heard Under the Influence.
"I ran into him the other day," the proud Jackson reports, "and he was just going on and on about it. That made me feel great, because I wanted to make this album as a kind of tribute to those artists."
"It was intimidating for me, because I was such a fan of all these records and songs and singers. When we first went into the studio, you've got that ego that says, 'Well, we've got to make this our own.' But after we worked on it, I said to [producer] Keith Stegall, 'The reason I wanted to do this was to pay respect to those artists and producers who affected me.' So we decided to play as close to what the original track sounded like as possible. I didn't want to take away from that. As far as my vocals, I didn't try to sing like 'em or not sing like 'em. I just went in there and sang."
Alan Jackson has been performing Gene Watson's "Farewell Party," Mel McDaniel's "Right In The Palm Of Your Hand" and Merle Haggard's "The Way I Am" in his live shows for years. Haggard's 1979 hit "My Own Kind Of Hat" was also dusted off by Jackson for Under the Influence. He feels close to Charley Pride, who recorded his song "Here In The Real World," so Jackson saluted him via "Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'."
When he first began to sing country music in Georgia, Alan Jackson was especially influenced by the songs of Hank Williams Jr. The rowdy superstar was quite moved by Jackson's "Midnight In Montgomery," which paid homage to Hank Williams Sr. in 1992. Now Jackson salutes Hank Jr.'s songwriting prowess in a powerfully emotional reading of "The Blues Man." Jimmy Buffett's songs were a staple of every club entertainer of the 1970s and 1980s. Jackson not only revives "Margaritaville," he harmonizes with the enduringly popular Buffett on the tune.
"I could do two albums of Haggard songs. I always sang Gene Watson stuff in my younger days. I could do a ton of Hank Jr. songs. I sang a lot of George Jones, a lot of John Conlee, George Strait and John Anderson. That's why I picked [Anderson's] 'She Just Started Liking Cheatin' Songs.' 'It Must Be Love' is a song that I used to sing with my first band, because I'm a big fan of Don Williams. I could sing a ton of his songs, too."
Alan Jackson is connected to this classic material on a deeply emotional level. In a Nashville musical climate that has practically obliterated the meaning of "country," Jackson has stood his ground as a beacon of integrity. Whether yearning and thoughtful in 1995's "Song For The Life," honky-tonk majestic in 1997's "Between The Devil And Me," rockabilly happy in 1993's "Chattahoochee" and "Mercury Blues" or swinging lightly in 1998's "Right On The Money," Alan Jackson has been a model of country class and artistic dignity.
But unlike many who carry traditional country's banner, Jackson allows his music to grow and evolve. Indeed, his songwriting seemed to gain depth and insight as each new album was created. As a composer he has been behind such contemporary-country masterpieces as "Wanted" (1990), "Dallas" (1992), "Tonight I Climbed The Wall" (1993), "Livin' On Love" (1994), "A House With No Curtains (1997), "Gone Crazy" (1998) and "Little Man" (1999).
"I just do what I like and what I feel like I do the best," he says humbly. "When 'Hee Haw' came on TV that was probably the earliest I remember being affected by real country music. My daddy watched that show religiously, every week. So I watched it, too. My daddy doesn't say much, but I remember one time when Buck Owens was playing he said, 'You ought to be one of them singers,' or something like that. I don't know why that struck me, but it did."
"When I got to be a teenager I had to survive disco in high school. I started a duo with a girl who played guitar and sang harmony. We did mostly folky-country stuff. When I was 16 or 17 I hung out with a guy who was a little older than me who played guitar. We started our first little band to play on weekends. There were hardly any clubs around the area, so we played private parties, pizza parlors and little beer joints here and there. You'd play the current stuff that was on the radio."
Under the Influence is a recollection of those innocent days in rural Georgia. And Alan Jackson's performances have recaptured all the straight-from-the-heart emotions that made these tunes hits in the first place. He reports that the recording sessions were among the most relaxing and enjoyable of his career.
In years past, fans have enthusiastically embraced Alan Jackson's revivals of oldies such as "Summertime Blues" (1994), "Tall Tall Trees" (1995) and "Who's Cheatin' Who" (1997). Now he is presenting them with a banquet feast of such performances.
"I've been wanting to do this project for years," he says. "I've had most of these in the back of my mind for a long, long time. The musicians just had a ball, so did I. There were some magical moments, where whole songs were recorded live. This album feels refreshing to me."
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Your Grandfather??? | Reviewer: Amanda | 2/7/12
Hi there :) A few of us are googling all over as us woman have to beat these guys to find the answer to whether your Grandfather is STONE WALL JACKSON ( THE SINGER ) Thanks, I await your reply I hope :)
Luck of the irish !!!! | Reviewer: MaryEllen Flaherty | 11/22/11
I am from connemara, Ireland. I grew up listening to Alan jackson because me and my dad love him.I love all of his songs especially "drive" because i share a special bond with my father too and when my dad taught me how to drive it was a special moment and il never forget it.We had a project to do for my english class and it was to pick your favourite song and wirte about it,i picked Drive. It is my all time favourite song and everytime i drive anywhere i think of my dad and this song! fair play brillaint song! .. :) Maryellen xox
really? | Reviewer: shelbie | 2/11/11
Okay, well most of you people are getting your hopes up thiking that he will respond back? He's not going too! And if it does its not really him! Every famous person is the same with their fans! The only true one i know is niki manaj!!! So, whoever is reading this please dont waste your time getting your hopes up!
curious yound man | Reviewer: tommy crawford | 12/12/10
dear mr jackson my dads name is eddie albert crawford he told me that the two of you played music togeather an that song u sang walk on the rocks i have always felt was about me an my dad is it?please respond
my grandson khalid | Reviewer: leeaanne | 10/4/10
im just writting as my grandson khalid ford beattie who is 5 is non verbal autistic n intelectually handicapped..they say he can never talk to us n is currently learning sign lang.but this boy can sing but only allan jackson songs and he has to do it everyday when he arrives home from special school,allan dvds are put on n he sings his heart out and can tell us what song to put on next.but we are still awaiting the day he calls his mother .mum! or asks for just a simple thing.if he is cranky or headbutting the only control we can take is put allans music on to calm him down....as soon as i heard you coming to australia ,i was going to buy tickets so i could take him to your show,but he wouldn,t be able to handle the large group of people.,i would love nothing more in his life then for him to meet you..your music has helped so much with his speech and uses some of your songs to communicate with us.. pls help us help hi meet the idol of his life.... leeaanne
my husband would like to meet you | Reviewer: kathy | 6/2/10
my nameis kathy and we have listen to country music for a long time and when we first heard you sang my husband said that man really can sang and i really like him now im writing to ask you if you are ever in port arthur texas i would really like for you and my husband to meet face to face he is 82 years old and i know it would really like too meet you before anything happens to him he has been really sick he has a minor stroke and he really cant walk to well but i know if he could just visit with you it would make his day a lot better thanks kathy
family | Reviewer: Mildred Musick Carlsen | 1/26/10
I am wondering how your mother was kin to David and Emily Musick, from Coweta Co. He was my great great grandfather through his son Jonathan, and my grandfather, William R. Blessings, and thanks.
are you my cuz? | Reviewer: dawn byrum sutton | 6/9/09
Dear Alan, My name is Dawn.My mom is reading a book about you.Your mothers name Ruth Musick.My moms name is Mary Musick.Her parents were Edwin Clifford Musick and Sue Butler Musick. I think my grangfather was from Springfield Illinois.He is from german descent.I have always heard the story of how the musick name came about,from a little orphan boy with no name.He loved to play music,so they called him the little musick boy,then gave him the first name George.Does any of this ring a bell.All the Musick I know are just a blessing.GOOD PEOPLE!!I would love to know who your grandparents are to see if you are my cusin.Please write back Thanks so much for your time.
Little Bitty | Reviewer: Cary and family | 12/16/08
My family and i really appreciate Alan and his wife.... i have listened to Alan since i was a little boy and i love to sing too so when my two beautiful doughters were growing up i sung to them all the time and i still do. My 12 year old is always handing me my guitar and saying "daddy sing my favorite Alan Jackson song, Little Bitty" and then she sings along with me and my 16 year old is always trying to get me to sing new songs. We all want to thank Alan for all of his hard work and everything that he has put into his work. Thankyou Alan!
email Alan Jackson | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/22/08
I really appreciate Alan and his wife's openness through his songs and her book. My husband and I relate as I was 16 when we met and 18 when we married in 1980 and still madly in love by the Grace of God with 3 great children. Is there a way to email to Alan and his wife?
Once in a lifetime love | Reviewer: Maria | 1/13/08
Ever since my husband of 35yrs and I heard "once in a Lifetime Love" We've claimed it as our own. Alan is one of the few Country singers that my husband consistantly likes, no matter what new change-ups he brings to his music eg."Like Red on a Rose" and some of the other songs on that CD. Our cheif problem is that the local radio station doesn't apparently have it in its archives so whenever we request it we have to choose another of his songs.
my all time favourite singer | Reviewer: gladysCleaver Monts | 1/7/08
I have always loved Alans singing and until I bought his wife!s book " It !s all about Him" I never knew about his album "Precious Memories". Now I listen to the album every morning to kick start my day. I love it. thank you Alan for the privilage of being one of your older fans.
It!s all about Him | Reviewer: gladys monts | 1/7/08
Until I bought the book his wife wrote I never knew of the album "Precious Memories" Now I play it every morning to kick start my day and I think I have downloaded all the songs I could on my facebook Profile. Thank you Alan from a senior citizen who loves your music .
Amazing singer | Reviewer: Dr Reem | 10/4/07
I heard Alan's song by chance & then I cudnt stop downloading one after another.
Awesome singer, barely came across another country singer I've liked so much at once.
I love "5 oclock somewhere" & "where were you" just brings tears to my eyes, its beautiful.
Thank You ALan. Keep adding more lovely songs to the music world. :)
June 09, 07 | Reviewer: Diane Sharpsteen | 6/10/07
My husband and I were very fortunate to see Alan Jackson at the Turning Stone. He is so humble and brings wonderful family values to his concerts. I have heard his records many times over the years but his voice is even more intoxicating in person. He still has an innocents in his music that I have not heard in other artist. It is an innocents with sophication. He has experienced life and shared the knowledge of the pain, beauty, and joy.
In Jesus name I pray for a life time of Blessing for you and your family
Thank You Allen from the Heart of a grandmother, Diane
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