Alan Jackson has written plenty of hits, with almost all of them earning the approval of his wife, Denise. But there’s one song he wrote, “Where I Come From,” which she absolutely loathed, and yet it still landed at the top of the charts.
“When you write something of your own, and you’re singing it, you get real close to it. It’s hard to have a perspective of somebody who’s never heard it before,” Jackson admitted on The Bobby Bones Show. “My wife’s a pretty good board to bounce it off of. I think I just feel like I know — my gut instinct usually tells me if it’s a pretty good song. I’m not always right. I’ve written a lot of things that I realize weren’t top shelf. Everybody does. You don’t really know. Denise one time, I wrote this song that she told me was stupid, and it went on to be a No. 1 hit, so you never know.”
Jackson knew he wanted to be a songwriter when he moved to Nashville, but he never imagined he would be as prolific as he ended up being.
“When I came to Nashville, I had a paper sack full of songs, and a lot of those ended up on the first two or three records,” Jackson recalled. “I think some of it, you’ve got some kind of natural ability to hear melodies and make it rhyme. It was a craft. I thought the more I wrote with more experienced writers, I learned. The first month or two I moved to Nashville, I never lived anywhere, and my wife was working a job to pay our bills. She was out of town. Most of the time I was by myself. It was sad.
“The first month or so I was there, I wrote a song for my Mama for Mother’s Day, which was coming up right after I moved here,” he continued. “It was called ‘Home.’ It was a song about the house my mama and daddy, and the house I grew up in. It was a true story … That was one of the first songs I wrote when I came to town, and it went on to be a hit years later.”
Jackson just announced the release of his upcoming album, Where Have You Gone. The 20-track record embraces his love of traditional country music, a style he has never wavered from since his debut Here in the Real World album was released in 1990.
“Merle and George and Hank,” Jackson said of what drew him into country music. “A lot of young people liked that music when I was growing up, but it felt like nobody was making it. Somebody had to go to Nashville to make that kind of country. Randy [Travis] did and was great. But real country music is gone. It feels like 1985 again, and somebody has to bring it back. Because it’s not just 50-year-old people, it’s 20- and 25-year-olds. They have a real ear for country music, because it is real and genuine. They know the difference, and you can’t fake those things.”
Where Have You Gone will be released on May 14. Pre-order the album here.*
*Everything Nash has an affiliate relationship with Amazon Music, which means we may receive a small commission from purchases on this page, at no additional cost to the artist or consumer.