The Greensboro Coliseum welcomed the Small Town Southern Man on September 10, 2022 by Dan Schram
“I had more hits than I can remember, and sold more records than I can imagine. It seems like I’m bragging but I just want to thank you for the support.“ – Alan Jackson
In a sight that didn’t seem impossible just a few years ago, the Greensboro Coliseum was packed floor to ceiling with patrons. On a damp Friday evening, they came to send off country music icon Alan Jackson on his “Last Call: One More For The Road” tour. With a career that spans thirty five number one hits and combined with the strong hold Jackson had on country music radio the past thirty years, it’s easy to see how this tour stop was easily sold out. Parents brought their children, scattered throughout the crowd, to see the country music legend one last time.
“Gone Country” led to “I Don’t Even Know Your Name” and “Livin’ On Love.” At this point the capacity crowd was standing up and were in full sing along mode. Jackson discussed his ties to the Greensboro area with his wife Denise, working at local Piedmont Airlines early in his career and how that job held the couple down at the time. The crowd hollered along to Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues” leading to slow dancing during “The Blues Man.” Jackson threw out t-shirts to patrons in the pit which seemed like a nice gesture and the crowd hung with him all night.
Jackson related to his audience by telling his story of being told his wife with pregnant with their first child and his realization he needed to seek out a “real job.” Then as fate would have it, the record company put out “Here In The Real World.” Jackson says from that point on, “This next three minutes of music came out and I haven’t worked since.”
For someone who grew up in Greensboro during Jackson’s early stronghold on the radio, it seemed like he was being played several times an hour. Songs like “Gone Country”, “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow” and of course “Chattahoochee” have distinct memories for so many people while today, continuing to still sound fresh to future generations. I have a tendency to leave concerts towards the end of the show, when a favorite song is playing. Being this is Jackson’s final tour. I exited the floor seating area just as the last notes of “Chattahoochee” rang out. Even with Alan Jackson retiring from performing, I want to believe he’ll still be playing his songs even though I won’t be able to see or hear him in person, the memories will remain. Thank You, Alan Jackson.
Gone Country (snippet)
I Don’t Even Know Your Name
Livin’ on Love
Summertime Blues (Eddie Cochran cover)
The Blues Man (Hank Williams, Jr. cover)
Who’s Cheatin’ Who (Charly McClain cover)
Here in the Real World (snippet)
Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow (short)
The Older I Get
Drive (For Daddy Gene)
Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)
Don’t Rock the Jukebox
It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere
Where I Come From
Mercury Blues (K.C. Douglas cover)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dan Schram is a folklorist based out of North Carolina. Check out his video channel here.
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