Why Alan Jackson Turned Down ‘Chicken Fried’

by Katie Maloney

Country legend, Alan Jackson, explains why he didn’t record the number one hit song, “Chicken Fried.” 

Zac Brown Band skyrocketed to fame after releasing the song, “Chicken Fried,” in 2005. After reaching number one on the Billboard country charts, the song reached six times platinum status. “Chicken Fried” became the band’s first of 13 number one songs and solidified their status as country music stars.

The song is about the beauty of the simple things in life. The band sings, “You know I like my chicken fried. Cold beer on a Friday night. A pair of jeans that fit just right. And the radio up. Well, I’ve seen the sunrise. See the love in my woman’s eyes. Feel the touch of a precious child. And know a mother’s love.”

Alan Jackson almost recorded Zac Brown Band’s “Chicken Fried.”

Alan Jackson Didn’t Want Another Song About Food

However, there was another country legend who heard the song before Zac Brown Band even had a record deal. Jackson listened to the song after his producer suggested that he recorded it. But Jackson turned down the song because he already recorded many songs about food.

“I liked the song, but I told him, ‘Man I just had a song about cornbread and chicken, and I had a song about bologna. Every album I’ve got has these songs about food, so I just don’t think I want to do one about chicken fried right now'” says Jackson. “In retrospect, I should have done it,” he says.

Although the song was co-written by the band’s frontman, Zac Brown, and songwriter, Wyatt Durrette, Brown had no intention of recording the song until Jackson turned it down. However, even now that the song has reached Billboard music history, Brown says that he’d still be happy if Jackson recorded “Chicken Fried.”

“He’s a legend. He’s welcome to any song I have,” says Brown.

Jackson may wish he had decided to record the song. However, he says that he’s still happy for Zac Brown band.

I love those guys, they’re the real deal. I’m glad that song worked good for them and become their first hit,” says Jackson.

 Zac Brown of the Zac Brown Band and Alan Jackson perform together onstage.
Zac Brown of the Zac Brown Band and Alan Jackson perform together onstage. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/WireImage)