Country superstar Jackson gets fair off to rocking start
August 19, 2012
By Jane Smith
Special to the Meadville Tribune
WEST MEAD TOWNSHIP —
Wearing a No. 26 white baseball jersey with Alan Jackson written on it,
Cindy Rollinger of Apollo was one of a dozen Jackson fans standing in
line at the Crawford County Fair on Saturday night for a chance to “meet
and greet” the country music star. Back
As a member of his fan club, she was given a special pass. She’s no
stranger to Jackson’s music. “I have seen him 38 times,” she said, but
“never got to meet him.”
“Oh my gosh, there he is,” she said as Jackson entered a tent to greet
the visitors. Although her “meeting” was a brief 15 seconds or so, it
left her breathless. She couldn’t wait for the music to start.
Rollinger wasn’t alone in supporting country music. Mary Deane of
Meadville was at her 21st county fair concert. She was one of the
diehards who used to camp out on the Crawford County Courthouse steps to
buy the first tickets when they went on sale. “I miss the old days,”
she laughed. But, it didn’t stop her from buying tickets. She loves
Jackson’s music, especially songs he has written about the military,
such as “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?” referring to
the terrorist attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. She likes
the songs about military because her son, Christopher, is now a 16-year
U.S. Air Force veteran.
Rollinger “likes them all,” she said, noting she doesn’t have a favorite.
Jackson didn’t disappoint either fan or the thousands of others who
cheered when he walked out to greet the nearly sold-out grandstand and
racetrack. Screens on the side of the stage showed statistics about odds
including the fact that only 1 in 11,521,739 southern Georgia boys have
had multiple No. 1 country songs.
The list included many favorites, beginning with one of his earliest
“Here in the Real World,” “Don’t Rock the Juke Box,” and many more.
Wearing his trademark white cowboy hat and blue jeans, Jackson was the
epitome of a country boy and soon had the crowd rocking and cheering as
he sang “Gone Country,” about how people have gone country in their
choice of music and dress.
Many grandstand fans were standing as they swayed back and forth to the
music. Others stood on their wooden chairs to get a better glimpse of
the singer. His music was accompanied by videos depicting scenes from
the songs and were well received. Jackson sang many of his hits, from
the love story of “Living on Love” and “Little Bitty,” about couples who
didn’t have much money, but had successful lives with their spouses.
He proved over and over why he has remained a superstar for 25 years as
he mixed the fast-paced, rocking songs with the slow ballads, many of
which he wrote from his life experiences.
The crowd gave him standing ovations as he finished his nearly
90-minute concert with a song, “Where I Came From.” It included pictures
of scenes taken in Crawford County and Pennsylvania. The last scene was
one showing the Pittsburgh Steelers, which also brought loud approval
and showing why Jackson is not just a great singer, but a great
Another southern singer, Kip Moore, opened for Jackson and also was
well received by the audience of country music lovers. He has been
singing in Nashville for nine and one-half years and currently has a No.
1 hit, “Something About a Truck.” The crowd recognized it immediately
and responded with loud applause.
He followed it with a song about a “Good Time Girl,” also a crowd pleaser.
In a quick interview prior to his show, Moore said he chose country
music “because I grew up with country.” His dad loved stars like Willie
Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. “I thought Dad was cool. He liked it
(country music) so I liked it.” He liked it so well, he chose to make it
He’s an up-and-coming star and said it takes a lot of work. “You have
to have no alternative,” he said, when asked what advice he may give
others thinking about making music a career. He said you have to have
the mindset that it’s “make it or break it.” He’s got that mindset and
based on the response from Saturday night’s audience, Moore too will
become on of those who beat the odds to make it big in country music.