Country Throwback: Alan Jackson and George Strait Perform ‘Troubadour’ at 2016 CMA Awards

by Clayton Edwards

Say what you will about the CMA Awards but they know how to celebrate. They really proved this with their fiftieth-anniversary show back in 2016. It was a night of great performances from some of the biggest names in country music. Just when you think it can’t get any better, they bring Alan Jackson and George Strait onstage to perform together.

To many fans, the ’90s was the best decade for country music. It ushered in some of the genre’s biggest current stars. Neotraditional country was booming and the radio was full of country songs that sounded like country songs. It was a great time. Alan Jackson and George Strait were two of the most important names of the era. So, them performing together is the perfect way to bring the fiftieth-anniversary show to the next level.

Alan Jackson and George Strait Own the Stage

This is such a beautifully planned and executed performance. It’s not just bringing two legends together on a stage and letting them perform a song together. They worked two hit songs together and put a short memorial somewhere in the middle.

Alan Jackson starts kicks off the performance with “Remember When,” He gets through two verses of the song, the second being the one about remembering those who passed. “Remember when old ones died and new were born/ And life was changed, disassembled, rearranged/ We came together, fell apart/ And broke each other’s hearts/ Remember when.”

As Alan Jackson goes through that second verse the faces of late country legends fill the video screens behind him on the stage. As he finishes the lyrics, the screen behind him comes alive with moments CMA moments from some of the legends who have passed on. This video includes Johnny Cash, George Jones, Merle Haggard, and more. It elevates Jackson’s emotional performance of the touching ballad to another level.

As the video comes to an end, George Strait takes the stage. He has a Texas-sized smile on his face as he walks to his spot beside Alan Jackson. They roll naturally into Strait’s hit song “Troubadour,” sharing vocals. It was an incredible moment for country music fans. Especially those who love neotraditional or ’90s country.