Music: Alan Jackson

A Country Music artist known for his traditional, no-frills songwriting, down-home charm and humility... and shelf full of awards.

Alan Eugene Jackson was born October 17, 1958 in Newnan, Georgia. started out unassumingly enough in 1989 on Arista Records, which at the time had virtually no experience in the country music business. He was even working with Keith Stegall, a former solo singer with no production experience. Although his debut single "Blue Blooded Woman" flopped, he first cracked the Top 40 in 1990 with "Here in the Real World" and enjoyed nearly 20 years of hits. Coinciding with his departure from Arista, he provided duet vocals on Zac Brown Band's "As She's Walking Away". With his fortunes fading at radio in The New Tens, Jackson has moved to his own label, Alan's Country Records, with distribution by EMI.

His accolades include twenty-five Number One singles, fourteen Academy of Country Music awards, twelve Country Music Association awards and a Grammy.

Jackson also co-wrote singles for Faith Hill ("I Can't Do That Anymore"), Randy Travis ("I'd Surrender All", "Better Class of Losers"), Clay Walker ("If I Could Make a Living") and Chely Wright ("Til I Was Loved by You"). His nephew Adam Wright, and Adam's wife, Shannon, record on Alan's label as The Wrights, and they have occasionally collaborated with him.


Tropes present:

  • Album Title Drop: A Lot About Livin' (And a Little 'bout Love) is named for a line in "Chattahoochee".
  • Anti-Christmas Song: "Please Daddy Don't Get Drunk This Christmas".
  • Bowdlerize: "I'll Try" opens with the line "Here we are, talkin' bout forever / Both know damn well it's not easy together". Even though it wasn't his first time swearing in song, the "damn" became a "too" on the radio edit.
  • Christmas Songs: He has done two albums of Christmas music.
  • Cover Album: Under the Influence.
  • Distinct Double Album: Greatest Hits II... and Some Other Stuff. The "Other Stuff" was a bonus disc comprising eight cuts from previous albums that had never been released as singles.
  • Doo Wop Progression: "Remember When".
  • Everything Is an Instrument: Alan "plays" a hammer striking an anvil on "Hard Hat and a Hammer."
  • Heavy Meta: Besides the three-minute example listed below, this is also present in "The Talkin' Song Repair Blues," where a songwriter takes his car in for repairs and is given a bunch of fixup suggestions. The repairman then notices that his customer is a songwriter, and offers him a song which the songwriter then offers fix-up suggestions on in a similar fashion:
    Well, I gave him my most sorrowful look
    And I said, "This song's got a broken hook
    I can order you a new one from Nashville, but it won't be cheap
    And I know you've been using a cut-rate thesaurus
    'Cause your adverbs are backed up into your chorus
    And your verse is runnin' on verbs that are way too weak"
  • I'm a Man, I Can't Help It: In "Work in Progress", he admits to being forgetful and careless, but pleads with her to be patient because he's a work in progress.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: "So You Don't Have to Love Me Anymore".
  • It Will Never Catch On: According to the liner notes of his first Greatest Hits Album, Jackson thought that "Chattahoochee" was too dependent on a localized reference (the Chattahoochee River on the Alabama/Georgia border) to become a hit. His worries were for naught, as it was a #1 smash and the biggest country song of 1993.
  • Lyrical Dissonance:
    • "I'll Go On Loving You" is awfully melancholy for a song about how he will still love his woman after he's had sex with her. Really, it sounds like a lot like "Suicide Is Painless".
    • In the other direction, "Don't Rock the Jukebox" is pretty upbeat for a song about a guy trying to convince people to not play upbeat songs so he can commiserate.
  • Lyric Swap:
    • "Where I Come From" can't seem to make up its mind whether the chorus is referring to pickin' or sittin', and whether it's on the front or back porch.
    • Similarly, the third chorus of "I Still Like Bologna" changes "the sound of a whippoorwill down a country road" to "…a shovelhead down a gravel road".
    • The last iteration of "Country Boy"'s chorus changes "Up city streets, down country roads" to "winding roads".
  • Logging onto the Fourth Wall: Jackson created an "alanjacksonmemory.com" website as a tie-in to his 2000 single "www.memory".
  • Lyrical Shoehorn: Pretty much all of the last two verses of "Where I Come From", which are composed of awkward phrasings and rhymes that barely make sense (for instance, "use my finger" is how he describes hitchhiking).
  • Midword Rhyme: The first chorus to "Like Red on a Rose":
    And I love you like only little children love pennies
    And I love you 'cause I know that I can't do any—
    —thing wrong
  • Nice Hat: He always wears a cowboy hat.
  • Record Producer: He's worked with Keith Stegall on all but one album (the aforementioned Like Red on a Rose, produced by bluegrass queen Alison Krauss). His first two were co-produced by Scott Hendricks (as was one song on the third), and his 2013 bluegrass album had his nephew Adam Wright as co-producer.
  • Rerelease the Song: Alan wanted to release "Home" off his first album, but decided against it because there was another song out by Joe Diffie that had the same title. The original recording was finally released as a single from a Greatest Hits Album in 1996. Later on, he re-recorded "A Woman's Love", originally from 1998's High Mileage, and released the re-recording from 2007's Like Red on a Rose.
  • Repurposed Pop Song: His version of "Mercury Blues" was rewritten to be about Ford trucks and used in mid-nineties Ford commercials.
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: He often does his own backing vocals. And it shows.
  • Signature Style: He tends to use the same musicians from album to album, helping to define his Three Chords and the Truth style even more. Not unlike George Strait, he tends toward spare, uncluttered production most of the time, dominated by Brent Mason's "chicken pickin'" style of guitar playing along with healthy doses of fiddle and steel. Unlike Strait, Jackson writes the majority of his songs and has a more twangy voice.
  • Something Blues: "Mercury Blues," "Summertime Blues," "The Talkin' Song Repair Blues".
  • Something Completely Different: Alan tried this twice in 2006, releasing a gospel album and a more adult contemporary-sounding album within a few months. The gospel album was only a side project, and the latter (Like Red on a Rose) was met with mixed reviews in comparison to his previous work, sold poorly, and only produced two singles. He returned to his traditional sound starting with Good Time.
  • The Something Song: "Three Minute Positive Not-Too-Country Up-Tempo Love Song". Also an example of Anti-Love Song, Running Time in the Title, Heavy Meta, Long Title and Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Take That: "Murder on Music Row," his duet with George Strait, is a slam of the crossover-happy country music climate of the Turn of the Millennium.
  • The Cover Changes The Gender: The original version of "Who's Cheatin' Who" was from a female perspective. Jackson, obviously, changed it to a male's.
  • Thirteen Is Unlucky: Lampshaded on the back of his Who I Am album. The track numbers skip from 12 to 14, with a note saying "That's right, folks, I am just a bit superstitious."
  • Three Chords and the Truth: Jackson is clearly influenced by the no-frills storytelling songs from the likes of Merle Haggard.
  • Title Only Chorus: "I'll Go On Loving You".
  • Visual Pun: The video for "She's Got the Rhythm (And I Got the Blues)", upon reaching the line "She spells out 'regret' in perfect time", has a woman literally moving her hands in the direction of the letters R-E-G-R-E-T as they appear onscreen.
  • Vocal Evolution: His voice has gotten a little deeper and less whiny with time. As of "Long Way to Go" (his first release for EMI), his voice seems to have also gotten weaker, as it has less force and a narrower range.
  • Watching the Sunset: Mentioned in "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)".
  • What Would X Do?: From "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere":
    I could pay off my tab, pour myself in a cab
    And be back to work before two
    At a moment like this, I can't help but wonder
    What would Jimmy Buffett do?
    • And then Jimmy answers.


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