10 years ago this week country music singer Alan Jackson's hymns album Precious Memories was #1 on Billboard Christian Albums chart. Alan Jackson took a step back from his typical country albums in 2006 to record Precious Memories, a CD of gospel tunes. Precious Memories is the thirteenth studio album, and the first gospel album of the country music veteran. It was released on February 28, 2006 on the Arista Nashville label.
The record debuted at #4 on the U.S. Billboard 200, #1 on the Top Chistian Albums and the Top Country Albums charts. It was Jackson's first Christian #1 album and his eighth #1 country album. In August 2006, Precious Memories was certified Platinum by the RIAA. In 2007, the album won a Dove Award for Country Album of the Year at the 38th GMA Dove Awards. A second volume, Precious Memories Volume II, was released on March 26, 2013.
"I had so many compliments from fans and even people who aren't really country fans. It just overwhelmed me," Alan tells the Boot. "People have told me - all over this country and even other parts of the world - how much they loved that album. It's not just people older than me. I've seen young kids at my shows who have on the t-shirt that had the cover of that gospel album on it."
The album was not onl big amongst fans in the US, but it paved the way for many missionaries in China. Jackson himself was surprised to find out the project was also a hit in China. "I had another friend whose parents do missionary work and they went to China. They just got there and went to this church and when they walked in, they were all singing along with my CD in there, all the Chinese people. I'm very surprised at how well it's been received and how many people have loved that thing. That's the main reason we did another one, because I've been asked since the first one, 'When are you going to do another?' I did feel like, well, if I'm going to do another one, I needed to go on and do it because my mother and Denise's mother are getting way up there now."
Six years later, the singer-songwriter has re-released Precious Memories again on EMI Records as a way to make the album still available to his fans.
"When I was at Sony ... we did a co-deal together where it was on half my label and half theirs," Alan explains to The Boot. "I ended up with the rights to the album, basically. So when the deal ran out, they didn't produce any more records, so you couldn't buy any more. And we just had so many people still wanting it, it's just amazing. That thing just sold and sold. So when I got over here [at Capitol EMI] we decided that we'd put it back out."
Here's the tracklisting:
All tracks traditional unless noted otherwise.
- "Blessed Assurance" - 1:56 (Phoebe P. Knapp, Fanny J. Crosby)
- "Softly and Tenderly" - 3:17 (Will L. Thompson)
- "I Love to Tell the Story" - 2:53 (William G. Fischer, Katherine Hankey)
- "When We All Get to Heaven" - 1:44
- "'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus" - 1:52
- "In the Garden" (C. Austin Miles) - 2:54
- "Are You Washed in the Blood?" - 1:15
- "I'll Fly Away" (Albert E. Brumley) - 2:13
- "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" (Charles Converse, Joseph Scriven) - 2:16
- "Standing on the Promises" - 1:35
- "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" (Helen H. Lemmel) - 3:47
- "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" - 1:34
- "The Old Rugged Cross" (George Bennard) - 3:06
- "How Great Thou Art" (Stuart Hine) - 3:32
- "I Want to Stroll Over Heaven with You" (Dale Dodson) - 3:06