Happy Birthday Carl Jackson

Today, Carl Jackson, two time grammy winner and three time IBMA award recipient, celebrates his 66th birthday. The only son of Lee and Ruby Pearl Jackson of Louisville, MS, began his musical career as a teenager picking banjo for Jim and Jesse, and recording his first instrumental album, Bluegrass Festival, in 1971 at age 17. He then performed alongside Glen Campbell for twelve years and serves as godfather for Glen’s daughter, Ashley, who is also a banjo picker.

Jackson, a multi-instrumentalist and prolific songwriter, is credited with pinning many noteworthy tunes including IIIrd Tyme Out’s Erase the Miles, Doyle Lawson’s The Best is Yet to Come, and Rhonda Vincent’s I’m Not Over You. He has also written tunes recorded by country artists such as Campbell, Garth Brooks, and Terri Clark.

Jackson received Grammys for: 1991 Best Bluegrass Album for Spring Training, Carl Jackson & John Starling (with the Nash Ramblers), and 2003 Best Country Album for Livin’, Lovin’, Losin’: Songs of the Louvin Brothers, Carl Jackson, producer, Luke Wooten, engineer.

The Missisissppi native also earned three IBMA awards for: 1990 Song Of The Year: for Little Mountain Church House, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver (artists), Jim Rushing & Carl Jackson (songwriters), 2004 Album Of The Year: for Celebration of Life: Musicians Against Childhood Cancer, various artists incl. Carl Jackson, and 2004 Event Of The Year: for Livin’, Lovin’, Losin’: Songs of the Louvin Brothers, produced by Carl Jackson.

Other notable projects produced by Jackson are Mark Twain: Word & Music (2011), a benefit for Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum’; and Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited (2015), a benefit for the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, TN, and Campbell’s last album, Adios (2017).

Jackson now resides in Nashville and performs weekly at the world famous Station Inn with the classic country band, New Monday, that includes Larry Cordle and Val Storey and talented sidemen such as Aubrey Haynie, Mike Bub, and Doug Jernigan. He also performs gigs as the Trio with fellow songwriters, Cord and Jerry Salley and does a homecoming holiday show in his Mississippi hometown each December.

Happy birthday, Carl Jackson!

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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.