Country Throwback: Alan Jackson Releases ‘Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)’ 19 Years Ago Today

by Matthew Wilson
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For those alive, it may not seem like it’s been almost 20 years since 9/11. The terrorist attacks live vividly in the memories of those who experienced them. Alan Jackson memorialized the shock and devastation in his song “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning).”

Jackson’s song released 19 years ago today on Nov. 26, 2001. The song highlighted the mixture of emotions Americans felt at the time. The song debuted as a single on Jackson’s 10th studio album “Drive,” which he released in 2002. Upon release, the song was a hit and topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts.

Alan Jackson Wrote the Song Early One Morning

The song just came to Jackson one morning while he was laying in bed. He heard the chorus in his head, and the song just clicked for him.

“I woke up one morning around 4 a.m. a few weeks afterward and had that chorus going through my head,” Jackson told Yahoo News. “The song came out of nowhere in the middle of the night — just a gift.”

“And I got up and scribbled it down and put the melody down so I wouldn’t forget it,” Jackson continued. “And then the next day I started piecing all those verses together that were the thoughts I’d had. Or visuals I’d had. It was a Sunday. I remember because, when I started writing it, my wife and girls had gone off to Sunday school, and I finished it that day. Like I said, that song was just a gift. I’ve never felt I could take credit for writing it. Looking back, I guess I just didn’t want to forget how I felt on that day and how I knew other people felt.”

For the song, Jackson won a Grammy Award for Best Country Song. He also won the ACM and CMA Awards for Song of the Year and Single of the Year. The song was also popular with members of the military.

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