Bruce Rits Gilbert

Song 64 - - Alan Jackson

I've pretty much always liked country music. I mean, even when I was nine and ten and then a teenager, when rock and pop and The Beatles were raging, and when I was buying each and every Beatles' album as soon as they were released, I liked country and bluegrass, even though I really didn't quite know what it was back then. But some of my favorite pop sounds of Elvis and Ricky Nelson (and others) were often really country songs. 

And by the time high school came around, although I'm not sure that there was even a country radio station in Milwaukee (was there?), I somehow stumbled across Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, George Jones, Roger Miller and others. And then in the late 60s and 70s, country rock became a thing. The Byrds, Poco, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Pure Prairie League, Bob Dylan (yes, he was a folk singer, but really he was a country and country-rock singer, too) and so many others were all writing and recording amazing songs. Although I still considered myself a rock & roll fan, I seemed to consistently buy country rock albums. And in college, non-traditional country (which would now be called "alt country") became my go-to music. You know, John Prine, Emmylou Harris, The New Riders of the Purple Sage, and even American Beauty, my favorite Grateful Dead album, to name a few. And I searched for and found some really good bluegrass albums, too. 

As the years went on, commercial country radio became more and more mainstream. And, at some point, country more or less became the new pop. And pop became something entirely different. I mean, I don't know even know how to define pop anymore. But the folks who listened to top 40 pop stations back in the day moved in very large numbers to country radio. I think. 

Although I don't actively dislike commercial country music, I rarely listen to commercial country radio. But let's admit it: There are some very good old school (and maybe new school, too) commercial country artists. And one of them is Alan Jackson. In his hey day, Alan Jackson seemed to have a country hit pretty much every month. And his catchy country songs were always among my favorites. His "Greatest Hits" album released in 1995 is jam packed with, well, hits, with almost no misses. Really, song after song is great. 

And among the best of these "guilty pleasure" songs is Living' on Love. It's kind of a classic-ly classic country music song. And Alan Jackson sings it pretty much perfectly. So here it is: Alan Jackson (and his band, including a very great pedal steel player) doing Livin' on Love

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