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12 Years Ago: Alan Jackson Hits No. 1 With ‘Drive (For Daddy Gene)’

Alan Jackson Drive Single Cover
Arista Nashville

12 years ago today (May 25, 2002), Alan Jackson rode to the top of the charts with his single, ‘Drive (For Daddy Gene).’ But while the singer was quite used to the No. 1 slot, with the single marking his 20th time in the top spot, this song was perhaps one of the most significant of his career.

Jackson wrote the tune, from his ‘Drive’ album, for his father, Gene, who passed away in 2000 from an aortic aneurysm. In the tune, which he dedicated to his dad, he fondly recalls being allowed to drive as a little boy along with his dad, singing, “A young boy, two hands on the wheel / I can’t replace the way it made me feel.”

“I’ve always tried to be careful. If I write something that’s that personal, I try to write them so they aren’t so obvious,” he explained to The Boot.  “Even when I wrote the song when my daddy died years ago, that ‘Drive’ song, if you listened to it, you wouldn’t necessarily think it was a song you wrote for your daddy that died. So I’m trying to camouflage. I’ve written heartache songs over the years, too, that have been inspired by my own life, but you’d have to really be close to know it.”

‘Drive’ stayed at the top of the charts for an astonishing four weeks, helping the album sell more than four million copies. He included the song on several of his Greatest Hits compilations, including ‘Greatest Hits Volume II,’ ‘The Very Best of Alan Jackson,’ ’34 Number Ones’ and ‘The Essential Alan Jackson.’

Download the single here.

Next: The Top 10 Alan Jackson Songs

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