On This Day: Alan Jackson Releases First Gospel Album ‘Precious Memories’ in 2006

by Matthew Wilson
Photo credit: John Shearer/WireImage/Getty Images

It’s been 15 years since Alan Jackson first poured the gospel into his signature sound of music. The country legend released his first gospel album back in 2006. That album was titled “Precious Memories,” and fans certainly have a few of those with Jackson and his performances.

“Precious Memories” featured 15 classic hymns usually sang in church functions. Songs included “‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus” and “Softly and Tenderly” among others. Jackson used to listen to these hymns himself when he went to church as a child. The country star even recruited his wife and daughters on certain tracks.

Originally, Jackson never intended to publicly release the album or the songs. Jackson created the tracks as a Christmas present for his wife. But a Nashville executive realized the album could be a gift that Jackson shared with the world.

“[My wife] Denise kept telling me back then, ‘If you do these old hymns and do them like people remembered them in church, people are going to buy that thing.’ I said, ‘Okay,’ but we didn’t make the album with the intention of going out selling a bunch of albums. It was just an honest effort to do something sweet for our mothers. And I think that was a part of the feel of it,” Jackson told Country Weekly. “It was just a sweet, honest, simple production and rendition of them.”

Fans certainly enjoyed Jackson singing the religious tunes. Upon release, “Precious Memories” didn’t just top the country music charts but also landed at No.4 on the Billboard 200. Jackson raked in the accolades that year, winning Country Album of the Year at the Gospel Music Association Dove Awards

Alan Jackson Releases a Follow Up Album

In 2013, Jackson decided to release a follow up to the album. This time, his own mother and mother-in-law convinced him it was time for a follow-up to the album. That album “Precious Memories Volume II” featured 11 songs including “Precious Memories” among others. Upon release, it landed No. 2 on the country charts and No. 1 on the Top Christian Albums chart.

Three years later, Jackson combined both albums together with two new songs and released the “Precious Memories Collection” for fans. Jackson thanks going to church for helping him to develop as a singer.

“Those were some of the early development for me as a singer, and that was probably the early days of getting a little confidence as a singer,” Jackson said. “The church and the activities that went with it affected me as a singer.”