In 1989, Alan Jackson was the first new artist signed to the Nashville division of Arista Records, which issued his debut LP Here in the Real World early in 1990. By the January 1991 release of his fourth single from the critically acclaimed album, he had snagged his first Number One hit with "I'd Love You All Over Again."
Hot on the heels of that romantic ballad, the lanky Georgian would release the first track — and title cut — from his second album in April of '91. Penned with Roger Murrah and Keith Stegall, "Don't Rock the Jukebox" was a meaty slice of pure honky-tonk, the lyrics inspired by the true story of Roger Wills, the longtime bass player in Jackson's Strayhorns band, who uttered the title phrase to warn the singer about a broken leg on the jukebox in Geraldine's, a truck-stop lounge they were playing in Doswell, Virginia. Instead of a jukebox with a bum leg, however, the song played up the increasingly popular (and still raging) country versus rock debate but was really more about finding the right music to fit Jackson's tear-in-his-beer mood.