If you haven’t heard Zac Brown Band’s hit “Chicken Fried,” you must be living under a rock. What most fans don’t know about the beloved track is that country legend Alan Jackson almost recorded it.
Zac Brown teamed up with Wyatt Durrette to write the song in the early 2000s when Brown was regularly performing at an Atlanta tavern.
“It was right around September 11. I was living with a Marine friend of mine. I was realizing how fortunate we are to be free, travel and to play music or whatever it is that you do as an American that there is a cost that other people have paid for us to be able to do those things and enjoy all the simple things. That’s where the patriotic line of the song came from,” Brown explained of the inspiration behind the song.
“Sometimes all of the little things get taken for granted, and you forget about them. They’re the most important things in life. It was a reminder to myself and a reminder to everybody else to not take the little things for granted, or the simple pleasures that really matter.”
Georgia country group the Lost Trailers recorded “Chicken Fried” and released it as a radio single in 2006. Brown requested that the song be taken off the radio, which then led the “Chattahoochee” singer to express his interest in recording the song.
Jackson decided to pass on the song at the time because he already had too many songs about food.
The country icon told his producer at the time, “Man, I just had a song about cornbread and chicken, and I had a song about bologna. Every album I’ve got has these songs about food, so I just don’t think I want to do one about chicken fried right now.”
After the success of “Chicken Fried,” Jackson shared, “In retrospect, I should have done it.”
Good thing Zac Brown Band decided to cut the song, as it became their first No.1 hit and has now been certified 6x Platinum by the RIAA.