On This Day: Alan Jackson Tops the Country Chart With ‘Don’t Rock the Jukebox’ in 1991

by Jim Casey

Alan Jackson scored his second No. 1 single when “Don’t Rock the Jukebox” topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart on July 6, 1991.

Alan Jackson got his first taste of a chart-topper when “I’d Love You All Over Again” reached No. 1 in March 1991. The tune was the fifth—and final—single from Alan’s 1990 debut album, Here in the Real World.

When the Georgia native geared up to release his sophomore album, Don’t Rock the Jukebox, on May 14, 1991, he picked the title track as his lead single. Alan released “Don’t Rock the Jukebox” on April 29, two weeks before the album dropped. A little more than two months later on July 6, Alan had his second No. 1 single.

“We wrote that song in between the first and second albums,” said co-writer Keith Stegall to Country Weekly in 1998. “Alan had a notebook he carried around with him with lines and hooks in it. We wrote that song with Roger Murrah. Alan pulled out that book and handed it to me, and I started looking down the list of titles and I stopped at that one and said, ‘This looks like one we ought to write.’ We wrote that in an hour and a half.”

The tune spent three weeks atop the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. In addition, “Don’t Rock the Jukebox” was named Single of the Year at the 1992 ACM Awards.

Alan’s Rockin’ Video

Penned by Alan, Roger Murrah, and Keith Stegall, “Don’t Rock the Jukebox” was inspired by a real-life story that Alan shared as a spoken-word introduction to the song’s lively video.

“I wanna tell you a little story about an incident that happened on the road a couple years ago when me and my band, The Strayhorns, were playing this little truck stop lounge up in Doswell, Virgina, a place called Geraldine’s,” said Alan Jackson. “We’d been there for four or five nights, you know, playing those dance sets. It’d been a long night, I took a break and walked over to the jukebox. Roger, my bass player, he was already over there reading the records, you know, on the jukebox. I leaned up on the corner of it, and one of the legs was broken off of it, and the jukebox kind of wobbling around, you know. And Roger looked up at me and said …”

The video for “Don’t Rock the Jukebox” also connected Alan to his favorite TV program, The Andy Griffith Show. Hal Smith, who portrayed town drunk Otis Campbell on the show, appeared in a similarly intoxicated fashion in Alan’s video. In addition, country icon George Jones made a cameo in the clip. Of course, George was name-dropped in the song’s opening lyrics: “Don’t rock the jukebox / I want to hear some Jones.”