Top 40 Singles of 2008: Alan Jackson - "Small Town Southern Man" (#5)

Alan Jackson has earned the right to sing whatever he likes and in 2006 he used some of that cache to release the not-so-traditional sounding "Like Red On A Rose" but like a good winter storm, AJ returned in 2008 with some great traditional country stuff.

He's back, ladies and gentlemen. Anyone who thought Alan Jackson had abandoned the world of hard-core country in exchange for nightclub lounges and adult contemporary, someone has a message for you. It's AJ himself,  and his newest album "Good Time" -- as evidenced by this debut single -- proves that the Georgia native will never stray too far from his roots. This song is a tribute to his late father, Gene, and the tune oozes with down-home lyrics that pay respect to the mores of small town life, hard work and family values.
The video (watch here) is even better for it shows the shift in generation from when the couple first meets in the 1940's until modern times when the family patriarch is no longer around, but his family lives on with his values in mind. 

It's these kind of songs that made Alan Jackson a star and it's also the kind of sharply written tune we've come to expect from him.  Hearfelt and real, these songs tell a story, it's no wonder, then, that "Small Town Southern Man" was Alan's first Number One single on Billboard since his last heartfelt and real single "Remember When" in 2004.  That single was one of Country music's all-time great songs and while "Small Town Southern Man" isn't quite that good, it is still one of 2008's very best singles.