Alan Jackson’s ‘Gone Country’: Story Behind the Hit Song Celebrating ’90s Country’s Popularity Boom

by Katie Maloney
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“Gone Country” became Alan Jackson’s 10th number one hit song. But what’s the story behind the song?

Alan Jackson’s “Gone Country,” tells the story of three singers. The singers include a lounge singer in Las Vegas, a folk-rocker in Greenwich Village, and a serious Composer. As the singers try to make it big in their selected musical genres, they ultimately decide that it’s best to move to country music.

During the song, Jackson sings, “She’s gone country, look at them boots. She’s gone country, back to her roots, she’s gone country, a new kind of suit. And she’s gone country, here she comes.”

Songwriter Bob McDill wrote “Gone Country”, in a way, about himself. He started his career trying to write pop and rock songs before moving to country music. After shifting to country music, McDill wrote Doug Stone’s “Why Didn’t I Think of That” Don Williams’ “Good Ole Boys Like Me,” and Pam Tillis’s “All the Good Ones Are Gone.”

Alan Jackson Pulled a Hilarious Stunt At 1994 Country Music Awards

During an interview, Alan Jackson said that he wishes he wrote “Gone Country” because “it says a lot of things that I’d like to say.”

“Bob McDill wrote this and he is one of my favorite writers of all time. When I first heard this song I fell in love with it,” said Jackson. “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.”

The song spent 26 weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and peaked in the number one spot. Additionally, the CMAs asked Jackson to perform “Gone Country” during the awards ceremony in 1994. But they wanted him to use a prerecorded version of the song instead of performing live.

Being the authentic countryman he is, Alan didn’t like the idea of pretending to perform. So, he protested in true Alan Jackson style. His drummer performed with no drum sticks in his hands for the whole performance.

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