Today is a great day in country music history. On this day in 1995, Alan Jackson earned the Number One chart spot for his song “Gone Country.” The track also marks Jackson’s 10th time being at the top of the charts. It opened many doors for the country artist at the time.
“Gone Country,” written by Bob McDill, is about the power of country music with people of all backgrounds. The song is about three singers in various different genres. The lounge singer, folk/rock singer, and composer all decide to change their niche to country. Each verse tells one of the character’s stories.
“Well, the folk scene’s dead, but he’s holding out in the Village
He’s been writing songs, speaking out against wealth and privilege
He says, I don’t believe in money, but a man could make him a killin’
‘Cause some of that stuff don’t sound much different than Dylan”
At the 1994 Country Music Awards, Alan Jackson says that he wishes he had written the song. He also calls Bob McDill one of his favorite writers of all time.
“I think it’s just a fun song actually, celebrating how country music has become more widespread and accepted by all types of people all over the country.”
Peaking in the Number One position, the track stayed on the Billboard’s Hot 100 for 26 consecutive weeks.
Alan Jackson After “Gone Country”
Some folks argue that “Gone Country” paved the way for Alan Jackson to become an even bigger star. After the song’s release, he won the American Country Music Award for Male Vocalist of the Year (1995). He also earned his first CMA for Entertainer of the Year (1995).
“Gone Country” is a staple in the country artist’s catalog. Performing it both on tour and in television performances, it is one of Jackson’s most recognizable hits. For instance, it appears on six of his compilation albums.
Today, he is the winner of two Grammy Awards, 16 CMA Awards, and 17 ACM Awards. Many believe that “Gone Country” helped make him a name in country music to never forget.
Alan Jackson on New Country Music
“Country music is gone — and it’s not coming back,” he states. “Real country songs are life and love and heartache. They’re drinking, singing about Mama and having a good time, sad things, fun things.”
This is a reason why he continues to make music. “It’s like the 1980s again. I’m 62 years old; I’m not some 30-year-old stud. It’s not the same, but somebody has to bring it back, because it’s not just people in their 50s, it’s people in their 20s, too.”