George Strait hasn’t done very many collaborations over the course of his record-breaking career, so it means a lot that he teams up with his pal Alan Jackson just about every chance he gets.
The two of them won a CMA Award together in 2000 for their traditional country protest anthem, “Murder on Music Row.” They’ve also collaborated several other times with performances on the CMA Awards, including a tribute to their shared hero George Jones a few years back.
That friendship continued Oct. 22 when George helped induct Alan as the newest member of the Country Music Hall of Fame at the annual Medallion Ceremony in Nashville. George performed a stirring rendition of Alan’s hit, “Remember When,” which came 10 years after Alan sang “The Fireman” at George’s Country Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
We caught up with George prior to the ceremony to ask him why he wouldn’t miss this moment honoring his old pal.
George tells Rare Country, “Alan’s been a friend of mine for a long, long time … I love his music, his writing. He’s a great performer and real humble, down-to-earth guy. So, we get along great and have for years.”
Throughout their careers, Alan and George have both stood as standard bearers when it comes to keeping traditional country music alive. George was quick to praise Alan on that front, saying, “He’s just such a traditional singer and songwriter. His songs are very well written. Of course, his singing is amazing.”
One moment from their friendship that sticks out to George happened backstage at the 2001 CMA Awards just under a month after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.
George recalls, “I saw him at the CMA Awards, and I said, ‘What are you doing, Alan?’ He goes, ‘I’m gonna sing a song.’ I said, ‘Oh, what song are you singing?’ He said, ‘Oh, just some little song I wrote.’ I said, ‘Well, good. I can’t wait to hear it.’ Then he blew everybody away with ‘Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning).’ So, it was an amazing night. Everybody was just, like, ‘Really? Just a little old song you wrote?'”
By the way, how amazing is George Strait’s impression of Alan Jackson? Be sure and share that clip with your friends!
Alan Jackson’s fellow inductees in the Country Music Hall of Fame Class of 2017 are the late country star and actor Jerry Reed and songwriter Don Schlitz, best known for penning “The Gambler” and “Forever and Ever, Amen” among scores of other country classics.