Alan Jackson Driven by Respect for Daddy Gene
Father's Day may still be a few months away, but it seems not a day goes by that Alan Jackson doesn't think of his dad, Eugene Jackson, who passed away two years ago.
The superstar took a lot of what he learned at his father's knee and applies it to his own life. As the years went by, he continued to glean knowledge from his hardworking parent. "I think I learned more about my daddy when he died more than I did when he was alive," Alan tells The Boot. "He was just a little old car mechanic ... and I remember him working on people's cars. He worked at the Ford plant in Atlanta, but he also worked on the side in his garage in the backyard, and he'd work on people's cars on the weekends just to help them out or something. A lot of times they would barter things, give him a lawn mower or something, and he'd fix their car."
A variety of "vehicles" made their way to the garage over time, including a street sweeper that the elder Jackson had traded for something. "It was one of those orange things," recalls Alan, with a laugh. "It had a big brush on it, and we had a dirt yard. We didn't even have grass in the yard, it was just dirt. And I used to ride that thing around, stirring up dirt everywhere, because we didn't have pavement."
Alan also remembers being overwhelmed by all of the people who attended his daddy's funeral in Newnan, Ga. "I saw all these people show up like he was somebody. I was so surprised, and I realized how he had touched so many people in his small way. It made me realize that it doesn't matter about how much money [you have], but if you can live a good life and be kind to people, you earn a lot of respect that way. I [wish] I could back up and change a lot of mine because of that."
Alan immortalized those memories in his hit song, 'Drive (For Daddy Gene).' The country star just released his new album, 'Freight Train,' this week, featuring his single 'It's Just That Way.'