Alan Jackson helped people across the country celebrate Independence Day in style. He did so by taking part in PBS’s A Capitol Fourth. That TV special was a little different this year. It wasn’t one star-studded concert. Instead, all of the performers on the show taped their songs in advance. They performed in venues that were fitting for the songs they were singing. For instance, Jimmy Buffett played from a beach. Jackson recorded his performance from Nashville’s Mother Church, the legendary Ryman Auditorium.
Alan Jackson added a couple of songs to the A Capitol Fourth broadcast. The first of those was “Drive (For Daddy Gene).” PBS didn’t want anyone to miss out on his killer performance. So, shortly after it hit the airwaves, the official Twitter account for A Capitol Fourth shared a video of Jackson performing this sentimental hit song. Check out the video below.
Alan Jackson took a moment to give viewers the history of “Drive (for Daddy Gene,” before playing it.
“I’d like to do a song for you now. It’s been quite a few years ago now when I wrote this. I had lost my daddy and I wanted to write a song for him. I didn’t want to write some old sad cryin’ dyin’ thing, ya know? So, I started thinking about growing up and all I ever wanted to do was drive something. He taught me all about that and that’s what this song is about.”
More on Alan Jackson’s Tribute to His Late Father
Alan Jackson said that he didn’t want to write some “cryin’ dyin’,” song. He didn’t. However, it is hard to listen to this song and keep dry eyes. Even if you didn’t know that it was about Jackson’s late father, the lyrics can stir so many deep emotions and bring back so many memories. Like many of Alan’s songs, if you lived in Small Town, America, you can feel it deep in your bones.
“Drive (for Daddy Gene)” was Alan Jackson’s 20th chart-topping hit. Listeners couldn’t get enough of it when it hit the airwaves in January of 2002. It hit the top of the Billboard Country Airplay chart in late May of the same year. It stayed there for four straight weeks.
He wrote the song to honor his father, Eugene Jackson who passed away in 2000. He tried to write something in memory of his father several times. However, it always ended up being exactly what he didn’t want it to be: a sad song about death. Then, he sat down and penned this song that laid out some of his favorite memories from going up. Additionally, in the final verse, he sings about hoping he built the same kind of memories for his three daughters.