On This Day: Alan Jackson Drops ‘Who I Am’ Album in 1994

by Jim Casey

Alan Jackson released his fifth studio album, Who I Am, on June 28, 1994. The album, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, produced four No. 1 singles.

After the release of his major-label debut album, Here in the Real World, in February 1990, Alan began dropping music at a prolific pace. His sophomore album, Don’t Rock the Jukebox, followed in May 1991, while he released his third album, A Lot About Livin’ (And a Little ’Bout Love), in October 1992. In addition, Alan released a holiday album, Honky Tonk Christmas, in 1993.

And why not keep up the prolific pace? AJ was dominating the singles chart. By the end of 1993, the Newnan, Georgia, native had already scored seven No. 1 singles, as well as seven Top 5 hits. In fact, his 1992 album, A Lot About Livin’, was his first to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. But it surely wouldn’t be his last.

Who I Am

Alan Jackson’s fifth studio album, Who I Am, is noteworthy on a number of fronts. First, the album featured 13 tracks, instead of the customary 10 found on his four previous studio albums. Alan co-penned seven of the tunes, which, of course, meant he recorded six outside cuts. In fact, two of the album’s songs, “Summertime Blues” and “Thank God for the Radio,” were hits for other artists. “Summertime Blues” was a Top 10 hit on the all-genre chart for Eddie Cochran in 1958, while The Kendalls earned a No. 1 hit on the country chart with “Thank God for the Radio” in 1984.

Second, the album was Alan’s first to reach the Top 5 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart, while also reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.

Finally, the album produced four No. 1 singles: “Summertime Blues,” “Livin’ on Love,” “Gone Country,” and “I Don’t Even Know Your Name.” Alan’s 1991 album, Don’t Rock the Jukebox, also featured four No. 1 singles. But Who I Am would be the last time Alan scored four No. 1 hits from a single album.

Alan’s Single Breakdown

Let’s check in with what Alan Jackson had to say about each of his four No. 1 singles from Who I Am, courtesy of a 1997 Country Weekly article.

“Summertime Blues” – “I can relate to the “Summertime Blues” because growing up in Newnan, we always favored the lake and I had a convertible, so I loved being outside. We always lived for the weekends, like everyone does.”

“Livin’ on Love” – “After I wrote it, I was sitting there looking at it and said, ‘Boy, that sounds just like my mama and daddy’s life.’ They married when they were kids and all they ever had was each other and their family.”

“Gone Country” – It’s just a fun song, actually. It celebrates how country music has become more widespread and accepted by all types of people all over the country.”

“I Don’t Even Know Your Name” – “Every time we would go back home to Newnan, my wife’s older brother and his stepson would tell me that they had a song idea: ‘I’m in love with you, baby, and I don’t even know your name.’ We laughed about it for years. Then one day on the road somewhere in the Northwest, I was trying to write new songs and I thought I’d go ahead and write this as a joke.”