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Alan Jackson's Hit "Drive (For Daddy Gene) Turns 21

January 16th 2023

When you think of country music icon Alan Jackson, his 2022 hit "Drive (For Daddy Gene)" has to come to mind. I sure know it does for us.

Alan Jackson Facebook

For two decades fans have wondered, his this story true? The sweet story shares memories shared with the singers beloved father.

Jackson has openly said in interviews that the song is dedicated to Alan's father, Eugene Jackson, who died on January 31, 2000. In the song, Alan recalls as a child he and his father driving around the countryside in an old beat up Ford that they fixed up together, as well as a boat they would cruise around the lake. To end the nostalgic tune Alan reminises his childhood experiences with his daughters and letting them drive his Jeep around their own land.

"It was just an old hand-me-down Ford

With three-speed on the column and a dent in the door

A young boy, two hands on the wheel

I can't replace the way it made me feel and

And I would press that clutch

And I would, keep it right

He'd say, "a little slower son; you're doing just fine"

The iconic song also had a heartwarming music video to match. The music video, directed by Steven Goldmann and animated by The Illusion Factory, follows the plot of the story by showing scenes of a boy and his father driving around in a speedboat and later in his truck. The scene for the final verse shows Jackson driving around in a Jeep with his three daughters. The whole video is presented as animated pictures in a story coming to life out of a storybook.

The video to no surprise has a lot of critical acclaim as it was nominated for Music Video of the Year in the top award shows and won the award for Best Music Video in the CMA Awards!

The song even touched younger generations of fans and country artists. Taylor Swift honored Jackson with her own rendition of "Drive" in 2008 at CMT Giants where Alan was honored!

The song debuted at 53 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks for the week of February 2, 2002. The song also hit number 1 US Hot Country Songs (Billboard) and ended the year at an impressive number 2 at the year end US Hot Country Songs (Billboard).

For two decades, Alan Jackson's song and its spirit has influenced many covers and has become a staple at his live shows. The song matches the same honesty, integrity, and emotional warmth that Alan carries himself, allowing fans to put themselves directly into the timeless story of a son and his father.

In this three decade-long music career, he has released almost 60 timeless music videos. Among them, "Chattahoochee" and "Midnight in Montgomery" received CMA's Video of the Year, and "Drive For Daddy Gene" received ACM's Video of the Year. CMT has previously honored him as a Giant in 2008, recognized his numerous accomplishments with the Impact Award in 2014, and included him on their "40 Greatest Songs of the Decade" and "20 Greatest Men in Country Music" rosters. This year CMA honored him with their "Artist of a Lifetime Award."

Needless to say country music wouldn't be the same without Alan Jackson.

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