On This Day: Alan Jackson Releases 13th No. 1 Single ‘I’ll Try’ in 1996

by Charles Craighill

The new year always brings some new surprises, not all of them great. However, sometimes the new year does bring great surprises, to start out the year with a bang. For instance, in 1996, Alan Jackson released his single “I’ll Try,” which topped the country music charts. “I’ll Try” became Jackson’s 13th hit song to reach number one on the country music charts.

The love song marked a sort of milestone in Alan Jackson’s career as he struggled to write positive love songs. To him, songs that had a positive outlook on love more often than not drifted into sappiness. Therefore, the songs did not feel true to him. “I’ll Try” was a different story.

In “I’ll Try,” Alan Jackson tried to have a realistic approach to a positive love song. The lyrics, rather than giving the stereotypical sweet nothings, tells the true story of love. It is not easy to be faithful and true for your entire life, but the best you can promise is that you can try.

Alan Jackson and George Strait: the Neo-Traditionalists

Both Alan Jackson and George Strait have been known for their return to the honky-tonk country that birthed the genre. While country music has blended into popular music, artists like Jackson and Strait have made sure that the roots don’t get lost.

In fact, they even criticized the state of country music together in a song. “Murder on Music Row” sparked debate in the country music world about traditional country music and pop-country music. The song charted highest among nonseasonal album cut, despite never releasing as a single.

While Alan Jackson certainly fought the mainstream pop-country sounds, he also included it in his own music. In fact, the pop-country element of his music helped make him popular. His ability to blend the sounds of traditional country with the trends of pop-country helped to make his honky-tonk roots more palatable.