HomeEntertainmentMusicWATCH: Alan Jackson Discusses “34 Number Ones” and Earliest Hits in Throwback Interview

WATCH: Alan Jackson Discusses “34 Number Ones” and Earliest Hits in Throwback Interview

by Suzanne Halliburton
Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for Essential Broadcast Media, LLC

Alan Jackson can tell all the stories behind each of his hits. They’re poignant and often touch on his time growing up in Georgia or after he moved to Nashville.

So let’s go retro and listen to Jackson talk about some of his earliest hits from his debut album “Here In The Real World.”

Jackson released his first song “Blue Blooded Woman” in 1989. It didn’t sell that well, which made the second song so much more important.

And that second song — “Here In The Real World” — was a smash. Jackson recalled that when he wrote the song, wife Denise, was pregnant.

The song “wasn’t something out of my life or anything, just a story song, a love song,” Jackson recalled. “I wrote that with Mark Irwin. It turned out to be my first hit. It was my second single, first one just died. So that was my first hit that saved me.”

The Song “Chasin’ The Rainbow” Was More Personal for Alan Jackson

The song “Chasin’ That Rainbow” was more personal. He said it was the first song he’d written after he moved to Nashville.

And the song was mostly about his family. Jackson said he wrote it as a Mother’s Day present for his mother, Ruth Jackson.

“It was talking about where I came from, coming to Nashville, trying to make it in Nashville,” Jackson said. He was “chasing that dream. Like so many others, I was playing so many bars and honky tonks.”

Jackson also relied on memories about his daddy, Gene Jackson. The specific one was about how his daddy won the family’s first radio as part of an employee contest at the local Pepsi plant.

“It sat on a wooden table top,” Jackson recalled. “Later it was out in the garage for years while we were working on cars. After the hit, I had that thing fixed up a little bit. Then the Country Music Hall of Fame had it.

“My daddy, especially, probably never said a half a dozen words to me growing up,” Jackson said. “He was quiet. I guess he made an impact by his way of living and his good nature. So I think all that affects you, especially as you get older and (are) looking at things differently.

“It was just a story song about them,” Jackson said of his parents. “They got married when they were like 16 or 17 years old. My granddaddy was a carpenter. He built this tool shed. It was in his backyard. They rolled it on logs down next door. Mama and Daddy set up their house in it.”

Jackson said his parents built the family’s around the tool shed. It ultimately ended up being in the center of the den.

Jackson’s single “Here In The Real World” peaked at No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart. The song “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow” reached No. 2.