Alan Eugene Jackson (born October 17, 1958 in Newnan, Georgia) is an American country artist who has sold over 50 million records. He was influenced by traditional country, and he was one of the most popular country singers of the 1990s, blending both honky tonk and mainstream country sounds and penning many of his own hits. In his career, he has recorded twelve studio albums and several compilations, all on the Arista Nashville label. More than fifty of his singles have reached Top 30 on the Billboard country charts, including twenty-five Number Ones. He is the recipient and nominee of multiple awards. Jackson is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and he was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2001.
Jackson was born to Eugene Jackson and Ruth Musick in Newnan, Georgia and has four older sisters. As a youth, Jackson primarily listened to gospel music, and otherwise was not a major music fan. However, a friend of his introduced him to the music of Gene Watson, John Anderson and Hank Williams Jr. Jackson attended the local Elm Street Elementary and Newnan High School. Jackson started a band after high school. After a time, he and his wife of six years, Denise Sadler, moved from Newnan to Nashville hoping to pursue music full-time.
He sang in church as a kid. His father, mother, four sisters, and himself lived in a rather small home growing up. At one point, his bed was in the hallway for lack of room elsewhere. His mother to this day still lives in the home. His first job, when 12, was in a shoe store. He wrote his first song in 1983. He was in his 20's when he worked as a car salesman.
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More info on each individual album, critical reception, etc. etc..
In Tennessee, Jackson got a job in The Nashville Network's mailroom. Denise got him connected to Glen Campbell, who helped him jumpstart his career. Jackson eventually signed with Arista.
He did a jingle for a Kraft cheese commercial early on in his career. He sang the demo tapes of songs for other stars to listen to and pick songs they wanted to record.
His very first album was an obscure independent release on Americana Records in 1987 and entitled: "New Traditional". This included the tracks: "W. Lee O'Daniel And The Light Crust Dough Boys", "They Call Me A Playboy", "Just Forget It, Son" and "Merle and George".
His second album, 1989's Here in the Real World, on Arista Records, was a major hit, as was his third (1991) album, Don't Rock the Jukebox. His 1992 album, A Lot About Livin' (And a Little 'bout Love) was a success, spawning five major singles. Also in 1992, Randy Travis charted three singles co-written by Jackson: "Forever Together", "Better Class of Losers", and "I'd Surrender All". Conversely, Travis co-wrote Jackson's single "She's Got the Rhythm (And I Got the Blues)".
In 1994 Jackson left his management company, Ten Ten Management, which had overseen his career up to that point, and switched to Gary Overton.
It was around this time that Jackson also began gaining fame for his song-writing skills. Other country music artists who have charted with songs co-written by Jackson, include Clay Walker ("If I Could Make a Living"), Chely Wright ("Till I Was Loved By You") and Faith Hill ("I Can't Do That Anymore").
This section requires expansion with:
More info on each album.
"Alan Jackson: The Greatest Hits Collection" was released on October 24, 1995. The disc contained 17 hits, two newly-recorded songs ("I'll Try" and "Tall, Tall Trees"), and the song "Home" from his second album that had never been released as a single.
With Jackson's release of Under the Influence in 1999, he took the double risk on an album of covers of country classics while retaining a traditional sound when a rock- and pop-tinged sound dominated country radio.
When the Country Music Association (CMA) asked George Jones to trim his act to 90 seconds for the 1999 CMA awards, he decided to boycott the event. In solidarity, Jackson interrupted his own song and launched into Jones's song "Choices."
After country music changed toward pop music in the 2000s, he and George Strait criticized the state of country music on the song "Murder on Music Row". The song sparked debate in the country music community about whether or not "traditional" country music was actually dead or not. Despite the fact that the song was not officially released as a single, it became the highest-charting nonseasonal album cut (not available in any retail single configuration or released as a promotional single to radio during a chart run) to appear on Hot Country Singles & Tracks in the Broadcast Data Systems era, beating the record previously held by Garth Brooks' "Belleau Wood." The duo were invited to open the 2000 Academy of Country Music Awards (ACMAs) with a performance of the tune. Rolling Stone commented on Jackson's style remarking, "If Garth and Shania have raised the bar for country concerts with Kiss-style production and endless costume changes, then Alan Jackson is doing his best to return the bar to a more human level." After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Jackson released "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" as a tribute. The song became a hit single and briefly propelled him into the mainstream spotlight.
At the 2001 CMA Awards, Jackson debuted the song "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning". The performance was generally considered the highlight of the show, and Jackson's site crashed the next day from server requests. The song came to Jackson suddenly, and had not been scheduled for any official release, but the live performance began receiving radio airplay and was soon released as a single.
Jackson released a Christmas album, titled Let It Be Christmas, October 22, 2002.
Jeannie Kendall contacted Jackson to do a duet, and he suggested the song "Timeless and True Love". It appeared on her first solo album, released in 2003.
In early 2006, Jackson released his first gospel music album entitled Precious Memories. He put together the album by the request of his mother, who enjoys religious music. Jackson considered this album a "side project" and nothing too official, but it was treated as such. The album received little to no airplay from radio stations, and proved to be not as successful as his previous work.
Only mere months after the release of Precious Memories in 2006, Jackson released his next country album Like Red on a Rose.
Unlike his previous albums, Like Red on a Rose had a different producer and sound. Alan's main producer for his music, Keith Stegall, was notably absent from this album. Instead, Alison Krauss was hired to produce the album. She also chose the songs.
Despite being labeled as "country music" or "bluegrass", Like Red on a Rose had a mainstream sound to it, upsetting some fans, even making some of them believe that Jackson was abandoning his traditional past and aiming toward a more mainstream pop sound.
However, for his next album, he went back to his country roots. Jackson's newest studio album, Good Time, was released on March 4, 2008. The album's first single, "Small Town Southern Man," was released to radio on November 19.
"Country Boy", "Sissy's Song" and the final single from the album, "I Still Like Bologna", were also released as singles.
"Sissy's Song" is dedicated to a longtime friend of the Jackson family (Leslie "Sissy" Fitzgerald) who worked in their house everyday. Fitzgerald was killed in a motorcycle accident in mid-2007.
Alan is working on his next studio album, which is scheduled for a late 2009, early 2010 release
Awards, nominations and induction into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame
In 1989 he was nominated for a total of six Country Music Association awards (CMAs).
He was nominated for four 1994 CMAs, including Entertainer of the Year.
Jackson became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1991; he was inducted by Roy Acuff and Randy Travis.
Jackson was the most nominated artist at the 29th annual TNN/Music City News Country Awards that was broadcast June 5 from the Grand Ole Opry House. His six nominations included best entertainer, male artist, vocal collaboration, album, single, and video (two nominations in this category).
At the 2002 CMAs, Jackson set a record for having the most nominations in a single year - ten - many rising from the song ""Where Were You". It also brought his career total up to the second number of most nominations ever, after George Strait. "Where Were You" also was nominated for a Grammy for Song of the Year. The song was also subsequently parodied in the South Park episode "A Ladder To Heaven".
At the 2003 Academy of Country Music Awards, Jackson won Album of the Year for Drive and Video of the Year for the video to "Drive (For Daddy Gene)."
Jackson was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame on October 22, 2001 in Atlanta.
Ford trucks endorsement
Ford's agency J. Walter Thompson USA in Detroit, in 1997, worked out with Jackson a multimillion-dollar, multi-year contract for his sole endorsement of Ford trucks. In his video for "Who's Cheatin' Who" he was behind the wheel of a "Big Foot" Ford F-150 pickup truck, and Ford's five Nascar vehicles (at the time) were prominently featured. Additionally, he changed the lyrics "crazy 'bout a Mercury" of the song "Mercury Blues" to "crazy 'bout a Ford truck" in a TV ad for the Ford F-series.
Jackson headlined the 1995 Fruit Of The Loom Comfort Tour, a deal worth $40 million. It began January 20 in New Orleans and ran for a hundred dates.
Alan Jackson's 2004 concert tour launched January 23 in Fort Myers, Florida and was sponsored by NAPA Auto Parts in a deal that included Jackson's endorsement in TV spots. The tour included more than 50 U.S. dates. Martina McBride was the opening for some of the shows.
Alan Jackson's backup band (since 1989) is "The Strayhorns". The current line-up of musicians is:
Monty Allen - acoustic guitar, harmony vocals
Scott Coney - acoustic guitar, tic tac bass, banjo
Robbie Flint - steel guitar
Danny Groah - lead guitar
Mark McClurg - fiddle, harmony vocals
Bruce Rutherford - drums
Joey Schmidt - keyboards
Roger Wills - bass guitar
Jackson married his high school sweetheart, Denise Jackson, on December 15, 1979. They are the parents of three daughters: Mattie Denise (born June 19, 1990), Alexandra Jane "Ali" (born August 23, 1993), and Dani Grace (born August 28, 1997). Although the couple separated for several months in 1998 due to the strains of Jackson's career; they have since reconciled. Their story is referenced in one of Jackson's most famous songs, "Remember When". Denise and their daughters appear in the accompanying video.
Denise Jackson wrote a book that topped the New York Times Best Seller list that covered her life with Jackson, their relationship, separation, and recommitment to each other, and her commitment to Christianity, the book was titled It's All About Him: Finding the Love of My Life, which was published in 2007. In May 2008 she released a Gift Book titled "The Road Home."
Jackson's nephew, Adam Wright, is also a country music singer-songwriter. Adam and his wife, Shannon, perform together as a duo called The Wrights. The Wrights co-wrote two songs and sang harmony vocals on Jackson's What I Do album.
Jackson is a cousin of Pittsburgh Pirates player Brandon Moss.
Jackson maintains a close friendship with fellow country singer, George Jones. Jones has been mentioned in songs such as "Don't Rock the Jukebox" (Jones also appeared in the video which accompanied it) and "Murder on Music Row". Jones can also be seen in the video for "Good Time". In 2008, Jones was a surprise guest at Jackson's "CMT Giants" ceremony, where he thanked Jackson for his friendship.
Lists of miscellaneous information should be avoided. Please relocate any relevant information into appropriate sections or articles. (August 2009)
- In an episode of South Park titled A Ladder to Heaven, Alan Jackson is portrayed as an opportunistic leech who composes fictional songs like Where were you, when they built a ladder to heaven / ran out of stuff to build a ladder to heaven when Stan, Kyle and Cartman try to build a ladder to heaven to get a ticket stub back (in order to finish their candy-buying spree) from their recently deceased friend Kenny.