Country Throwback: Alan Jackson Rocks ‘Tall, Tall Trees’ Performance at 1996 Music Festival

by Clayton Edwards
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It was the summer of 1996. Thousands of country music fans gathered at Atlanta Motor Speedway, ignoring the sweltering Southern summer temperatures. They had good reason to be there. One being Alan Jackson.

No one wanted to miss the killer lineup of All-Star Countryfest ’96. The 12-hour festival featured some of the biggest names in country music at the time including Pam Tillis, Hank Williams Jr., Kenny Chesney, Jackson and others.

Less than a year before the big show, Alan Jackson released “The Greatest Hits Collection”. This album contained several of his previous hit songs as well as two new tracks. One of those was the hit single “Tall, Tall Trees.”

Alan Jackson at All-Star Countryfest ’96

By the time Alan Jackson took the stage at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, “Tall, Tall Trees” was already a number-one hit song in both Canada and the United States. So, when he kicked off the song, the crowd went wild. Jackson and his band held the screaming crowd in thrall as they nailed every note of the hit song.

The man himself walked the line between leaving it all on the stage and making it look effortless. This performance is an example of Jackson’s expert showmanship.

Tall, Tall Trees

By the time 1996 rolled around, Alan Jackson had several top-10 hits. These included some tracks that are still fan-favorites today such as “Here in the Real World” and “Midnight in Montgomery“. While putting together his greatest hits collection, he recorded two new songs. One of those songs was “Tall, Tall Trees” which would go on to be a number one for Jackson.

Roger Miller and George Jones co-wrote the song. They both released a version of the song. Miller’s was on his 1970 album “A Trip in the Country” while Jones‘ was on his 1959 album “Long Live King George.”

It’s only fitting that a song written and recorded by two of country music’s biggest names would be performed by Alan Jackson, a superstar in his own right.

In the liner notes of “The Greatest Hits Collection,” Jackson said of the track, “…I’ve always been a big fan of Roger’s and when it came time to record a couple of new songs for this greatest hits, I couldn’t resist. After I recorded it, we found out that George Jones is a co-writer – I think George had even forgotten he’d written it. I’m proud to have the chance to record a song written by two of my favorites.”

While Jackson’s version does resemble Jones’ version it’s safe to say that Alan Jackson not only introduced the track to a new audience but also made it his own.

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