Alan Jackson has been cranking out country music hits for decades, but maybe his most beloved country song — and one of his most popular music videos — is “Don’t Rock the Jukebox.” (It’s definitely a tune you’ll find on any playlist purporting to be the greatest hits collection of Jackson’s career.) Jackson wrote the song with Roger Murrah and Keith Stegall and released it in 1991. The song was one of Jackson’s many number ones, as both a single and a music video.
The premise of both is simple, Alan is a heartbroke hillbilly who wants to listen to some classic tracks from George Jones and not the Rolling Stones. He needs some sad country to get him through a breakup and he isn’t in the mood for rock and roll. Jackson actually “explains” how the song came to be at the beginning of the music video, though who knows how true that is. Either way, this is what Jackson says:
“I wanna tell you a little story about an incident that happened on the road a couple years ago when me and my band, The Strayhorns, were playing this little truck stop lounge up in Doswell, Virginia, a place called Geraldine’s. We’d been there for four or five nights, you know, playing those dance sets. It’d been a long night, I took a break and walked over to the Jukebox. Roger, my bass player, was already over there reading the records, you know. I leaned up on the corner of it and one of the legs was broken off, jukebox kind of wobbling around, you know. And Roger looked up at me and said…”
Now, who knows if this is the true story behind the title track from the album of the same name, but yeah, there’s no doubt there’s a small town country boy out there somewhere livin’ that story.
While the song has an interesting story, the music video, directed by Julien Temple, has an awesome ’90s style and several cameos, including Hal Smith of The Andy Griffith Show and even George Jones himself at the end. The music video premiered on CMT on May 2nd, 1991 and was (of course) one of the top country music videos of the year. Forever a classic, revisit the video for “Don’t Rock the Jukebox” above.