On This Day: Alan Jackson ‘Jokes’ His Way to the Top With ‘I Don’t Even Know Your Name’ in 1995

by Jim Casey

Alan Jackson “joked” his way to the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart with “I Don’t Even Know Your Name” on Aug. 5, 1995. The lighthearted boot-scooter became Alan’s 11th No. 1 on the chart, during a career that boasted 26. But the song, which Alan co-penned, was a novelty of sorts. Alan never intended to include the song on an album. Instead, the Georgia native recorded it for his brother-in-law’s amusement.

“I wrote ‘I Don’t Even Know Your Name’ as a joke,” said Alan Jackson to Country Weekly in 1997. “Every time we would go back to Newnan, my wife’s older brother and his stepson would tell me that they had a song idea . . . ‘I’m in love with you, baby, and I don’t even know your name.’ We laughed about it for years. Then one day on the road somewhere in the Northwest, I was trying to write new songs and I thought I’d go ahead and write this as a joke. The band and I worked it up and put it on a tape to give to my brother-in-law. The next thing I know, everybody that hears it starts commenting how cool it is and how they really like it. So we ended up putting it on the album.”

Who I Am

When Alan recorded his fifth studio album, Who I Am, in 1994, “I Don’t Even Know Your Name” was one of the 13 songs that made the cut. However, the album was packed with radio-friendly, single-worthy songs. Would “I Don’t Even Know Your Name” make it to country radio?

The album’s lead single, “Summertime Blues” topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in July 1994. Subsequent singles “Livin’ On Love” and “Gone Country” followed suit, reaching No. 1 in October 1994 and January 1995, respectively. The album’s fourth single, “Song for the Life,” became a Top 10 hit.

Finally, AJ released “I Don’t Even Know Your Name” to country radio in May 1995. Less than three months later on Aug. 5, Alan had his 11th chart-topper.

Of course, for the the song’s video, Alan commandeered one of the biggest jokers of the 1990s: Jeff Foxworthy. The “You Might Be a Redneck” comedian brought the song’s lyrics to life. Under the influence of dental anesthesia, Foxworthy married a toothless waitress for a lil’ 1990s lighthearted video levity.

Check out the clip below.