Carl Jackson soothes a savage beast with his music, i.e., his grandson

The holidays are a time for families to gather. The young congregate with the not-so-young. It makes for a special occasion when we can appreciate and experience multi-generational love among our relatives.

Sometimes, the youngest can become tired, fretful, and not so joyful during these family functions. If that happens, you might try the gift of music. It works in Carl Jackson’s clan.

Jackson, a seven-time IBMA, three-time Grammy, and two-time Dove award winner, is a talented multi-instrumentalist and prolific songwriter. Having penned such crowd favorites as Erase the Miles and I’m Not Over You, among numerous others, Jackson has found that his young grandson’s favorite is Little Mountain Church House. The 69-year-old has developed a unique bond with the 10-month-old.

“We found out any time he gets fretting, all you have to do is put on Little Mountain Church House on YouTube’s Country Family Reunion and he just immediately stops and watches.”

Recently, during Jackson’s Home for Christmas Show in he and his wife, Robin’s, hometown of Louisville, MS, the audience got to witness it firsthand.

Robin explained, “Rhett is mesmerized when shown Little Mountain Church House on YouTube! He is LITERALLY GLUED to the video! So Carl did a little experiment…”

Jackson admitted, “Rhett was getting a little fussy. We had never tried doing it live, it had always been on video.”

Speaking from stage, Rhett’s Pop tried to comfort him, “Hang on, buddy. We’re going to try this. It may not work.”

In a phone interview, Jackson explained, “I started singing Little Mountain Church House and immediately his eyes froze on the stage. He stayed focused right on the stage throughout the entire song. He was so happy that he started clapping. It was first time that I had seen him to do that.”

A proud family man, Jackson was pleased to have many of his relatives in attendance at his annual homecoming musical gala that included many of his lyrical collaborators, like Larry Cordle, Jerry Salley, Val Storey, and Isaac Moore.

“I had my great-nieces, my sister, Diane’s grandchildren, Abby and Avery dancing. I also had (other young relatives) Jack, Levi, Jamison, and Loreli, who’s in high school.”

Jackson returns to his birthplace each December to perform in the town where his late parents operated a music store, and encouraged their musically-gifted young son who started performing on banjo with Jim & Jesse while still in his mid-teens. The event has gained in popularity, and has expanded to two shows with a matinee and evening performance. This was the first year that the Jacksons returned as grandparents and getting to perform for their grandson did not disappoint.

Robin concluded, “Bradley Walker said that Rhett’s reaction to Little Mountain Church House was the best part of the Christmas show!”

Share this:

About the Author

Sandy Hatley

Sandy Chrisco Hatley is a free lance writer for several NC newspapers and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. As a teenager, she picked banjo with an all girl band called the Happy Hollow String Band. Today, she plays dobro with her husband's band, the Hatley Family.