View Full Version : Alan Jackson communicates well with women

08-02-2001, 02:14 AM
I just discovered the rest of the article that another thread about Alan was based on and thought we need to see the positive about Alan and remember it. Maybe no one else here cares, but as a female Alan has communicated to very well through his music, I do!

This one's for the ladies
Alan Jackson tackles modern subjects in an old-fashioned way -- and doesn't forget the women in and out of his life.

July 27, 2001

Special to the Register

Alan Jackson may sing traditional country music, but that doesn't mean that his recordings are dated.

Jackson, who performs Sunday at the Greek Theatre, borrows phrasing from Alabama-born traditionalist Vern Gosdin and calls himself a Merle Haggard fan on "When Somebody Loves You," his eighth studio album.

But the fiddle-and-steel textures don't limit him to stereotypical subject matter such as cornbread, honky-tonks and longnecks. In the course of the project, Jackson encounters a California transvestite, gets a prescription for Prozac and devotes an entire song to Internet love.

"The same old story," Jackson says of "www.memory," "just with the computer age."

That Jackson is doing so well in the computer age, however, is no small accomplishment. When Garth Brooks led the country boom of the early 1990s, he built new expectations for recording artists in Nashville. Brooks never actually "crossed over" into pop music by releasing his singles to Top 40 radio stations, but he certainly attracted an audience that spilled outside of usual country borders. So did the Dixie Chicks, while Faith Hill and Shania Twain brazenly made recordings that have found favor in multiple formats.

Jackson stayed true to the twangy, three-chord variety of country - both in sound and in the way he conducts his life - yet he still sold lots of albums. In fact, Nashville closed a street in front of his record company offices two weeks ago when Arista threw a block party to celebrate the sale of 35 million albums.

A dozen years after signing his first recording contract, "it sounds stupid now," Jackson says from his Nashville home, "but it's just hard to believe all this. My wife (Denise) and I both think, 'Gosh, just like a fairy tale.'"

George Strait and Randy Travis are the only other acts who've moved product at Jackson's pace since 1985 while staying true to hard-core country values. In Jackson's case, the success could be partly inbred.

Females have long been considered the dominant target audience. If a woman doesn't actually spend the money for an album or concert ticket, she often influences her husband or boyfriend to foot the bill. Thus, country artists - from Reba McEntire to Conway Twitty - have long made a point of appealing first to women.

Jackson does that naturally. He is handsome in an approachable way, and, despite his fascination with manly pursuits such as fishing and tinkering with cars, he has a gentle quality about him. It is, perhaps, the result of a family tree that has difficulty passing the Y chromosome. He grew up the lone son of Eugene Jackson, a Ford mechanic who died in January 2000. Alan spent his Georgia youth with four sisters and now shares his household with his wife and three daughters. He is, and always has been, surrounded by women.

"I guess that's why I have such a sensitive, feminine side," he says, laughing.

But he quickly turns serious, admitting that all that experience with women had to affect the outlook he brings to his songs, and his audience.

"My dad's a real mild man, too," Jackson says. "I mean, he's a man's man, but he's not a real rough kind of typical Southern man from that generation. He's a real caring man, sensitive to animals - that kind of guy. I think I inherited that from him, and then bein' around four sisters - and now I got a house full of women here, so I've definitely had a lot of experience with (women). I think I've always been able to communicate better, or be friendly with women, than I am with a man."

He's also comfortable with certain machines. Like Jay Leno, he collects classic cars, and when he was feted at that Arista party, the label gave him a rare "Amphicar," which had been located by Denise. Built in 1965, the vehicle is a weird hybrid, a German car with an English engine that can also be driven in the water.

"I thought it would be a nightmare, it (wouldn't) work," Jackson admits.

But he gave it a test drive the next day at the lake and had a successful voyage. "It's odd-lookin'," he says. "It's got tailfins, sort of like a '57 Chevrolet. It's small, sort of a narrow, small, little car. It's real ugly, but it's cute, 'cause it's ugly. The front end has to curl up a little bit, so the water won't push straight on it, and then the bottom's all sealed. It's steel, and it's got wide whitewalls on it from that era, you know, and it's a convertible, so (when) the top's down it looks pretty neat.

"You get in the water and the water's halfway up the doors. It feels like a sinkin' car. I mean, it's a real heavy feelin' in the water. You're just pushin' a piece of steel, but it works. Get in there, put it in neutral, and you engage this other gear, and it connects to the two propellers in the back. Steer it with a steer in' wheel just like a car."

Jackson does better with a steering wheel than a mouse pad. Despite writing "www .memory," he admits to being a bit inept on the computer. He has trouble helping his oldest daughter, Mattie, 10, with her homework, because she speeds around the Internet better than him. He has his e-mail address blocked, has never visited his own Web site, and says he usually needs help when he goes online, because the hard drive invariably locks up.

But that sort of fits Jackson. He lives comfortably in the ever-changing computer age, but navigates technology's brave new world with a mindset still bent on traditional values.

"I don't even turn my cell phone on," he says with a laugh. "I don't want anybody to find me."

08-02-2001, 02:30 AM
Dang....too bad that part that was excerpted was taken outta context. :( Sad...


08-02-2001, 03:10 PM
Nice article Dale! :D It's great that you're trying to "balance the scales" for Alan here at PG.

It may be hard to believe, but I care too.

Jim :)

08-02-2001, 03:54 PM
Jim, on the contrary. I think it is very believable that you do care.

Krista, I guess we all tend to just focus on the worst in eachother rather than all the good. But what's neat is, if we look for the good, we will find it. Not only that, it makes the bad not so bad as we thought. Besides, we've each got our own bad to worry about. I keep thinking how Garth said we are all equal. The same. Human. But he did say, the human race is getting better.

Anyway, I was really touched by Alan's love of women in this article. Makes him more like Garth than we thought possible, huh?

08-02-2001, 04:57 PM
You're sweet, ya know that? It's very cool that you are so open-minded.
I still stick to my opinions, but I really appreciate the fact that you're very Hmmmmm....kind, gracious, and fair about all of this. :)