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RELATED: Alan Jackson caused thousands of tears to fall as he sang this George Jones classic. That included his rebellious Hank Williams cutoff attire at 1994's ACM Awards, where he had his drummer "play" with no sticks as a protest for being asked to sing to recorded tracks instead of perform live. 12:26 PM PDT 5/2/2013 by Chuck Dauphin, Billboard FACEBOOK; TWITTER; EMAIL ME Like many country artists, Alan Jackson has always looked up to George Jones as one of his greatest musical heroes. When Alan Jackson landed a record deal in 1989, George Jones already had well over 50 album releases and 10 No. The lively and fun-lovin’ tune seemed like the perfect fit for the awards ceremony, and Jackson was given a full performance slot to showcase it. Jackson had Jones sign a picture for him, and on it, Jones wrote, "Keep it country, George Jones." "I felt strongly about it," Jackson says. 1 singles. 'Fried Green Tomatoes' Cast: Where Are they Now? And in doing so, he single-handedly created what is now known as one of the greatest moments in country music history. In 1986, then 27-year-old Jackson moved to Nashville with his wife. The two maintained a friendship for many years, and Jones and his wife, Nancy, even appeared in Jackson’s music video for “Good Time.”, After Jones passed away in 2013, it was Jackson who took to the Opry stage at his funeral and performed what is universally known as the saddest song in country music history, “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”. By the time he finished, Jackson didn’t linger to bask in the overwhelming applause being showered upon him. The song became one of his biggest hits, in part because of the message. The year was 1999. The song was named Single of the Year at the 1991 ACM Awards and Jackson has gone on to place 35 songs at Number One overall. While many still view the moment in the same way today, it is more often regarded as an epic show of respect from one country great to another. "I've been on award shows for 10 years and they've been real good to me. His song "Choices" (produced by Keith Stegall) cracked the top 30 for the first time since 1993 and scored a CMA nomination for Single of the Year. After he finished, Alan walked off the stage in protest of the way the CMA handled the situation with George Jones. We want to hear from you! The country legend passed away on April 26, 2013. He simply turned around and walked offstage, guitar in hand. Now his buddy of nine years, Alan Jackson refused to let that slide. The chance performance did actually help Alan Jackson meet some important folks in Music City. It's "as near a perfect country song as you could ever imagine," Jackson says. Though Jones and Jackson came from two different eras, they were clearly cut from the same cloth. Its success was surely boosted by its most popular track, the song “Choices,” which songwriters Billy Yates and Mike Curtis wrote with the country music legend in mind. The song would stay in the top spot for three weeks. The song’s video became almost as legendary as the tune itself, featuring Jackson singing while a mysterious figure sits in the shadows behind him. Gwen Stefani Sings Countrified Covers of Past Hits in 'Tonight Show' Sketch, Jeff Bridges and Susan Geston: A Very Non-Hollywood Love Story. At the memorial service, he sang "He Stopped Loving Her Today" with George Strait. Jackson and Jones are great friends, they are, indeed, brothers by heart. In it, he implores fellow bar patrons to play country music on the jukebox to help ease his heartache. But Jackson also grew up idolizing Jones, so of course he had a bit of a fanboy moment. The CMA informed Jones that he would only have a limited time to perform, and asked him to sing a shortened version of “Choices” rather than the full song. In fact, Jackson dubbed his 25th anniversary tour the "Keeping It Country" tour in honor of Jones' classic signature. So, he sent him a letter on his letterhead (which is amazing, by the way) requesting Jackson play a song or two with Jones. Georgia singer enlisted the Possum for the video to his Number One hit “Don’t Rock the Jukebox”. He’s currently on his 2015 Keepin’ It Country Tour and preparing for the release of a new album, Angels and Alcohol. But no one other than the members of his band knew that underneath that grin and his bright white cowboy hat, Jackson was less than happy. In a lot of ways, that served as Jackson's motto for the rest of his career. Why Are Men So Compelled to Defend Jacking Off on a Work Zoom? The next day, Jackson sat down to explain the decision on TNN's Prime Time Country. As serious Jackson fans know, Stegall went on to produce nearly every Alan Jackson record, including his 1990 debut Here In The Real World. Alan Acts Out On George’s Behalf. That moment had tongues wagging all over Nashville and in … Most of us have idols in our line of work. Whether the answer is yes or no, you’ll want to catch the moment in the video below. Jackson eventually signed to Glen Campbell's publishing company and met Keith Stegall, who was a judge on the show at the time. He took up a job working in the mail room for TNN, a TV station that actually had some pretty big clout at the time. Sign up for our newsletter. That kind of vulnerability and honesty from somebody who most consider the greatest country singer ever just goes to show how close the two really were. Back then, Jackson’s actions were viewed as a sort of “protest” against the CMA. And then in 2000, Jackson and George Strait released "Murder On Music Row," a song using an actual murder that took place on music row as a metaphor for how traditional artists such as George Jones would never make it in the current music industry. Twenty-four years ago today — July 6th, 1991 — Alan Jackson’s “Don’t Rock the Jukebox” hit Number One on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, earning the budding star his second chart-topper and cementing his traditionalist status just as country was moving to incorporate more mainstream pop sounds. "Keep it country, George Jones.". When Alan Jackson landed a record deal in 1989, George Jones already had well over 50 album releases and 10 No. Since the song was such a big hit and Jones was a nominee, the CMA asked him to perform during the ceremony. His duet with me was his first not to crack the top 50.". Fantasy Made From Dahl Parts, Dolly Parton Made Stephen Colbert Cry With an Old Folk Song on ‘The Late Show’, Watch Obama Absolutely Torch Trump During His Debut Campaign Event for Biden, Steve Perry: ‘My Heart Bleeds Daily to Be in Front of People And to Sing for Them’, Adam Sandler’s Bulldog Bagel Joins Fleetwood Mac ‘Dreams’ Craze. But there was a catch. He was asked to sing his hit song “Pop a Top,” which chart-wise, had performed even better than Jones’ “Choices.”. Jackson did have several opportunities to honor Jones, like at his funeral and at the CMA Awards later that year. He decided that if the CMA wasn’t going to let Jones sing the way he wanted to, he was going to make sure the country music legend was still recognized during the ceremony. You see, after hearing how the CMA had approached Jones about singing “Choices,” Jackson was upset. While many still view the moment in the same way today, it is more often regarded as an epic show of respect from one country great to another. In his 1996 autobiography I Lived To Tell It All, Jones said "Alan was white-hot on the radio, and programmers wanted his voice. Sadly, George Jones never made it to his final show. Jones refused to do so, and ended up not attending the awards. When George Jones announced his final show ever for November 2013, he just had to have Jackson be a part of it. Teary-Eyed Alan Jackson Mourns 9/11 Victims In 2006 Live…, 32 Years After She Vanished, Bobbie Gentry Emerges In…, Lisa Marie’s Daughter Riley Keough Calls Loss Of…, Lisa Marie Presley Mourns Death Of Her Only Son, Benjamin…, 104-Year-Old “Gone With The Wind” Star Olivia…, Brittany Aldean Rocks Fun, Printed Bikinis 4 Months After…. The lively and fun-lovin’ tune seemed like the perfect fit for the awards ceremony, and Jackson was given a full performance slot to showcase it. The musician his … Jackson was also invited to perform on the show. Its success was surely boosted by its most popular track, the song “Choices,” which songwriters Billy Yates and Mike Curtis wrote with the country music legend in mind. As Jackson's career skyrocketed in the early 1990s, George Jones' slowly faded. The CMA informed Jones that he would only have a limited time to perform, and asked him to sing a shortened version of “Choices” rather than the full song. Send us a tip using our anonymous form. Jones refused to do so, and ended up not attending the awards. Sam Elliott Voices New Joe Biden Campaign Ad: 'There is Only One America'. And of course, Jackson framing the letter is the perfect touch. Despite country music trends moving away from his traditional sound, The Possum continued to tour relentlessly for the next 14 years to adoring fans. Both Jones and Jackson were experiencing immense career success at the time. "That was really something else.". And they ask most artists at one time or another to reduce to your song and it's not unusual, and people say, 'Well everybody has to do that.' Like many country artists, Alan Jackson has always looked up to George Jones as one of his greatest musical heroes. The fresh-faced singer got the opportunity to sing the show into commercial break, and wouldn't you know it, he used what could've been his only shot to sing George Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today.". Do you remember when Jackson ceased singing his own song to recognize Jones instead? With its hardcore honky-tonk feel and double-meaning lyrics, “Don’t Rock the Jukebox” was catchy and fun — and had the added benefit of serving as a rallying cry for fans who felt country had gotten too far from its roots. “Choices” was also nominated for Single of the Year at the 1999 CMA Awards (it lost to the Dixie Chicks‘ “Wide Open Spaces”). He kicked off the song like normal, seeming bubbly and cheerful as he sang the upbeat tune. That same year, Jackson joined Jones on his album Bradley Barn Sessions. It was also a hit within the music industry itself, and Jones was given the Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for bringing the song to life.

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