On this day in 1991, Country Music Hall of Famer Alan Jackson was at the top of the country radio chart with his iconic hit, “Don’t Rock the Jukebox.”
Released on May 14, 1991 as the lead single from his second studio album of the same name, the song has gone on to become one of Jackson’s greatest hits.
Written back Jackson with Keith Stegall and Roger Murrah, the track tells the story of a heartbroken man who yearns to listen to country music to help soften his heartbreak.
In an interview with The Tennessean, Stegall shared the story behind writing the hit with Jackson and Murrah.
“It was after his first album, and we still kept a couple of dates a week that we would write. On that particular day, it was me, Alan and Roger. And Alan had this ‘hook book’ that he carried with him, just a spiral notebook that he would write his ideas down in. We were upstairs at Tom Collins Music, and he threw me the book and said, ‘Look through there and see if there’s anything that looks like it might be a (song) title,'” Stegall recalled.
“I remember I popped the page and started down from the top. As I was coming down the list of a bunch of things that would later become hit songs, his ideas, this title ‘Don’t Rock the Jukebox’ popped up. I said, ‘What about that?’ He goes ‘Yeah.’ And then he told us the story of being in some honky-tonk in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and his bass player leaning on the jukebox, and the jukebox almost fell over, because one of the legs had been broken. And Alan said, ‘Don’t rock the jukebox!’ That’s really where that came from.”
“Don’t Rock the Jukebox” peaked at number one on the US Country charts, making it his second consecutive number one single to secure a spot on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles. In 1992, the country legend received an ASCAP award for Country Song of the Year, and the song was later covered by Alvin and the Chipmunks for their album “Chipmunks in Low Places.”