Country Throwback: Alan Jackson Covers Eric Clapton’s ‘Wonderful Tonight’ at 2005 CMA Awards

by Joe Rutland

Country singer Alan Jackson knows how to put a tender turn on a song, which he did in 2005 with Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight.”

Jackson performed his cover version at the 2005 CMA Awards ceremony. He was introduced to the audience at Madison Square Garden in New York City and those watching on CBS by Brooks & Dunn.

As the camera pans over to Alan Jackson and his band, two fiddlers begin to play the familiar melody of Clapton’s song. Then Jackson steps up to the microphone, guitar strapped across his chest, and begins to sing.

In 2005, Alan Jackson was nominated for Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year at the CMA Awards. He did not win, though.

Eric Clapton’s Song Touches On The Power of Love

The song, which was released in 1977 as part of Clapton’s “Slowhand” album, is about Clapton’s then-girlfriend and future wife Pattie Boyd.

Clapton was waiting on her while Boyd was getting ready to go out with him. While she was upstairs trying on dresses to go out with Clapton, he was downstairs playing his guitar and writing the song.

For a taste of the song’s lyrics, here are the first four verses of “Wonderful Tonight” to whet your appetite.

“It’s late in the evening
She’s wondering what clothes to wear
She puts on her make-up
And brushes her long blonde hair

And then she asks me, ‘Do I look alright?’
I say, ‘Yes, you look wonderful tonight’

We go to a party
And everyone turns to see
This beautiful lady
That’s walking around with me

And then she asks me, ‘Do you feel alright?’
And I say, ‘Yes, I feel wonderful tonight'”

Take a break and enjoy Alan Jackson performing “Wonderful Tonight.”

Alan Jackson Releases 4th Straight #1 with ‘Dallas’ in 1991

Throwing it back a few years more for Alan Jackson, back in December 1991 he released what would become his fourth straight No. 1 single with “Dallas.”

Little did Alan Jackson know at the time that “Dallas” would go on to be a hit, but it rose to No. 1 on both the “Billboard” U.S. Hot Country Songs and the Canada Country Tracks charts.

Jackson said that the inspiration for the song came when he played at Billy Bob’s in Dallas, Texas. Alan Jackson based the song on a comment he said after his show.

He said he “wished Dallas was in Tennessee” according to his The Greatest Hits Collection that was released in 1995.

Jackson’s fourth hit is from his second album “Don’t Rock the Jukebox.” “Dallas” is a love song about a woman that left Tennessee and her man, for her true love, Texas. Jackson sings that he wishes Dallas was in Tennessee so he would have the woman he loves.

Keith Stegall co-wrote the song with Jackson. Stegall is a well-known songwriter and has written many hits for Jackson and George Strait.