Alan Jackson has written many, many hit songs during his stellar decades-long career in country music. There’s “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning),” “Livin’ On Love,” and “Don’t Rock the Jukebox,” just to name a few.
Of all those hit songs, the success of one of them stands out as the biggest surprise for the singer. He talked about this song during an interview on “The Bobby Bones Show” that was posted to YouTube on Monday (April 26, 2021).
And, before you listen to this surprise hit, you might want to grab a burger and a grape snow cone. If that wasn’t enough of a hint for you, Alan Jackson’s comments on the popular show will clearly named that song.
“Did you ever have a song that you wrote – I mean you’re in the Songwriter Hall of Fame. So, you’re writing song after song. Great songs,” the host said. “But, did you ever have a song and you thought, ‘I don’t think that song’s going to do much. But it ended up being a big smash and you were sort of surprised by it?”
It took almost no time for Alan Jackson to answer that question.
“Uh, yes,” Jackson said. “‘Chattahoochee.”
You can watch Alan Jackson’s video for his surprise hit song “Chattahoochee” below.
Alan Jackson Shares Thoughts About Surprise Hit Song During Recent Interview
“Chattahoochee” had its debut during May 1993. Alan Jackson wrote the song with Jim McBride.
And, while Alan Jackson didn’t expect the song to be a hit, a lyric from the track was used as the title of the album on which it appeared. That album was “A Lot About Livin’ (And a Little ’bout Love).”
Here is a sample of the hit song’s lyrics: “Yeah way down yonder on the Chattahoochee / Never knew how much that muddy water meant to me / But I learned how to swim and I learned who I was / A lot about livin’ and a little ’bout love.”
“When you finished ‘Chattahoochee’ – you finished writing in that room that day, did you go, ‘Alright, this is never gonna be heard by anybody other than us who wrote the song?'” Bobby Bones asked.
Jackson Described ‘Chattahoochee’ as ‘Coming-Of-Age’ Song
“Well, Jim McBridge and I wrote that and I just thought that it was uh, … the name of a river in Georgia that I grew up on and around and, nobody, unless they were from that area would even know what in the world I was singing about,” Alan Jackson said. “I guess the song was really more than that. It was a growing up, coming-of-age song, in a small town. And, I realized later that everybody had a ‘Chattahoochee’ or something like that. So, they related to it regardless of the title. So, I was wrong on that one. … I’ve sung that thing a million times on stage and people still jump up on their feet. They love that thing.”
Despite Alan Jackson doubting the possible success of “Chattahoochee,” the song became a very popular hit with fans and critics. It was honored at the CMAs. It won both Song of the Year and Single of the Year. Not too bad for a track that one of its writers thought wouldn’t go anywhere.
You can watch Alan Jackson’s recent appearance on “The Bobby Bones Show” below.