Alan Jackson

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About Alan Jackson

As a kid growing up in small-town Georgia, country singer Alan Jackson used to watch his father, Eugene, leave to drive the 40 or so miles up I-85 to work as a mechanic at the Ford plant just outside Atlanta. (Jackson commemorated the trip, in passing, on the 2002 single “Drive [For Daddy Gene].”) A few years after Eugene’s death, the state gave the stretch of road a new name: Alan Jackson Highway—a fitting tribute for an artist always carving the road home. Born in 1958, Jackson broke in the late ’80s, projecting a quiet, down-home persona that seemed to capture what country music was all about. Following in the footsteps of singers like George Strait and Randy Travis, he became one of the preeminent traditionalists in country, a keeper of the flame at a time when the genre was making more—and increasingly direct—appeals to pop (a shift Jackson poked gentle fun at on his 1994 single “Gone Country”). Tender, direct, and quietly funny, Jackson’s songs have often lobbied for the good old days, detailing everything from the beauty and trials of a long-term romance (“Remember When”) to September 11th (“Where Were You [When the World Stopped Turning]”) to the search for simplicity in an increasingly complex world (“I Still Like Bologna”). Despite the modesty of both his image and his music, Jackson has also been enormously successful, clearing the Country Top 10 every year between 1990 and 2004 while selling more than 80 million albums, receiving inductions into both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. “My wife makes fun of me because I have a lot of songs with food,” Jackson said in a 2004 interview. “But I say write what you know, and I know about food, cars, and broken hearts.”

Newnan, GA, United States
October 17, 1958
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