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Alan Jackson took the sole spotlight at the Capitol Nashville lunch show at Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, Thursday (Feb. 23), entertaining the crowd with a finely tuned mix of past hits and career stories. Alan fielded questions from Lon Helton, editor and publisher of Country Aircheck magazine, before launching into his performance and admitted that he felt "a little anxious" playing for the seminar crowd, made up mostly of radio personnel, industry executives and media.
Alan said that he was "pretty much done" with his upcoming new album, noting that his label was pushing for a May release. "I don't know if that means that it may come out," he joked, "or if it's going to come out in May." Alan then shared the story of when he and wife Denise moved to Nashville from their hometown in Georgia with an old car and very little money. "We lived in a basement apartment for five years," he remembered.
Using that memory as a springboard, Alan led into his first selection, his 1996 single "Home," which he wrote for his mother. Alan also recalled the early days of struggling in Nashville, trying to land a record deal. "I sang demos and played clubs," he said. "But this next single changed everything." The song in question was "Here in the Real World," Alan's second single and his first big hit, peaking at No. 3 in 1990.
There was one notable change in Alan's appearance, as he showed up minus the facial hair that he had sported for years. When Lon Helton asked about his look, Alan answered that he got tired of trimming his mustache. Denise, he added with a grin, has taken a liking to it.
During the remainder of the show, Alan performed his new single, "So You Don't Have to Love Me Anymore," along with past hits such as "Remember When" and "Drive (For Daddy Gene)." After singing a portion of the appropriate classic tune "Thank God for the Radio," Alan exited to a well-deserved standing ovation.