30 Years Ago: Alan Jackson Releases ‘Don’t Rock the Jukebox’, His Sophomore Album
Alan Jackson earned his first No. 1 single with 1991's "I'd Love You All Over Again," the final release from his acclaimed debut album, and he added four more chart-toppers to his tally with Don't Rock the Jukebox, his sophomore record.
Released on May 14, 1991 — 30 years ago today — Don't Rock the Jukebox's title track was its lead single and the first No. 1 from the project. Jackson wrote the song with Roger Murrah and Keith Stegall, the latter of whom co-produced the album with Scott Hendricks, and the song finds Jackson heartbroken and sidling up to a bar, urging his fellow patrons, "Don't rock the jukebox / I wanna hear some Jones / My heart ain't ready / For the Rolling Stones / I don't feel like rockin' / Since my baby's gone / So don't rock the jukebox / Play me a country song," over a deceivingly upbeat melody.
Jackson's next two singles from Don't Rock the Jukebox — "Someday" and "Dallas" — also topped the country radio chart, as did the album's final single, "Love's Got a Hold on You." Its fourth single, "Midnight in Montgomery" — a Jackson-Don Sampson co-write in which Jackson's protagonist encounters the ghost of Hank Williams — peaked at No. 3.
Jackson's tribute to Williams isn't the only nod to the country greats who came before him on Don't Rock the Jukebox. The last line of "Just Playin' Possum" — written by Jackson, Jim McBride and Gary Overton — is sung by George Jones, who is, of course, also name-checked in the record's title track. Jones' nickname was "The Possum," a moniker bestowed on him early in his career, supposedly because he looked like the animal.
Jackson recorded Don't Rock the Jukebox between late August 1990 and early January 1991 at several studios in Nashville. The album went to No. 2 on the Billboard country albums chart, and landed in the Top 20 (No. 17) on the all-genre Billboard 200. By April of 1995, it was certified four times platinum.
Don't Rock the Jukebox also earned Jackson several country music honors. He won Album and Single of the Year, the latter for the record's title track, at the ACM Awards, and Music Video of the Year, for "Midnight in Montgomery," at the CMA Awards.
On Friday (May 14, 2021), the 30th anniversary of Don't Rock the Jukebox, Jackson released his 17th studio album, Where Have You Gone. It's his first in nearly six years, since Angels and Alcohol, released in July of 2015.
See Alan Jackson Through the Years: Country as All Get Out!