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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". Jackson has moved to his own label, Alan's Country Records, with distribution by EMI.
All of Jackson's albums have seen reasonably high sales and accounted for a remarkably consistent string of hits, with little to no compromise on his easygoing musical personality. 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").
- 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".
- Big Eater: Practically every third song has a reference to what kind of food he likes.
- 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."
- 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.
- Heavy Meta: Besides the three-minute example listed below, this is also present in "The Talkin' Song Repair Blues," where songwriting is compared to fixing a car.
- 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".
- Lyrical Shoehorn: Pretty much all of the last two verses of "Where I Come From", which are composed of awkward phrasings and Painful Rhymes that barely make sense (for instance, "use my finger" is how he describes hitchhiking).
- 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).
- Rerelease the Song: Alan wanted to release "Home" off his first album, but decided against it because there was another song out 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 Song: "Don't Rock the Jukebox," "Chattahoochee," "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)," "Drive (For Daddy Gene)," "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere." The last one is a duet with Jimmy Buffett.
- 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. It sold poorly and only produced two singles. He returned to his traditional sound starting with Good Time and Freight Train.
- 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 big Take That to the crossover-happy country music climate of the early aughties.
- 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. -- AJ".
- Three Chords and the Truth: Jackson is clearly influenced by the no-frills storytelling songs from the likes of Merle Haggard.
- Vocal Evolution: His voice has gotten a little deeper with time. As of "Long Way to Go" (his first release for EMI), he also seems to have lost a lot of range.
- Watching the Sunset: Mentioned in "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)".