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Alan Jackson Traces His Love of Bluegrass to ‘The Andy Griffith Show’

Alan Jackson
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Alan Jackson has spoken many times about his humble childhood. Newnan, Ga. wasn’t a hotbed of live music — in fact, if the family didn’t own a television set, it would have been quite a few years before the young superstar-to-be watched any banjo picking. Two classic television shows planted the seeds for Jackson’s latest album, the finally realized bluegrass album.

The Bluegrass Album‘ hit stores last month, debuting at No. 3 on the country album charts. Jackson tells Taste of Country how a band on ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ inspired him.

“The Darlings they called them on the show, but it was the Dilliards, which is a little more of a folky kind of bluegrass,” the country icon says. “They played some cool stuff on that show and that made an impression on me.”

Flatt and Scruggs also appeared on ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ several times, which young Alan appreciated. “My daddy watched ‘Hee Haw’ every Saturday and they had a lot of bands or bluegrass stuff on there then that I watched,” he shares. “I’ve always loved the sound of the banjo, for some reason.”

Jackson says he’s been thinking about doing a bluegrass album for almost two decades, but the timing and songs didn’t finally come together until last winter. The project features several originals (eight written by the singer) and covers of songs by Bill Monroe, John Anderson and the Dillards.

Alan Jackson Talks Early Bluegrass Influences:

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Next: The Top 10 Alan Jackson Songs

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