/Meet Carl Jackson’ Louisville native not a household name but plays a key role in country music’s history

Meet Carl Jackson’ Louisville native not a household name but plays a key role in country music’s history

He was 14 when he set out on the road with bluegrass band Jim & Jesse. This fulfilled at least one of his childhood dreams at an age when most high school students are still adjusting to highschool. Jackson was 19 when he joined Glen Campbell’s band. He was introduced by Campbell as the “best banjo player” and referred to Jackson as the “best banjo player anywhere in the world.” Jackson is now 66 and looks back on the Grammy-winning, all-encompassing music career that spanned songwriting, recording producing, mentoring, and much more. “Being at the right place at right time has been something I’ve experienced so many times in my life,” Jackson said. Jackson proved that right stuff is more important than wrong. He was there at the most crucial moments. Dolly Parton said it in a Mississippi Public Broadcasting documentary, “He had the to knock someone’s socks off to get there.” “Meet Carl Jackson” is a companion piece for Ken Burns’ epic documentary “Country Music,” which will air and stream this fall on PBS. Although Jackson might not be well-known to country music fans, “He’s your favorite,” John Gibson, MPB’s director for television, and one of the documentary’s producers, says that Jackson isn’t a household name. “Everyone we contacted — and this is never the case with documentaries — said yes if they could fit it into their schedule,” that includes Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt, as well as Parton and Emmylou Harris. Gibson says that interviews show how much people respect Carl’s talent as well as how much they value him as a person. Jackson was first introduced to music by his father, Lethal, as well as his Uncle Socks who ran a small bluegrass band in Louisville called The Country Partners. Jackson states that Jackson’s desire to play the banjo was what pleased his dad most. At 14, his parents supported him by letting him tour with Jim & Jesse, knowing that this was where his dreams would take him. Jackson, then with Keith Whitley, went to see Glen Campbell at Ohio State Fair when he was 18. After the show, a chance meeting with Larry McNeely (Campbell’s banjo player) turned into an invitation for them to pick up the following day. He kept asking me to play many tunes. Jackson says that although I was unaware of what he was doing, Jackson said that he was auditioning him for the role. His senior
reporter predicted that he would be appearing on Glen Campbell one day.
Yearbook was a reality in the age of TV’s “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour”. Jackson followed McNeely over to the next trailer and saw Glen, his hero. Campbell then put Jackson through the same hurdles, then asked Campbell if he would play “The Claw,” an intricate instrumental composed by Jerry Reed. “I would probably hate it if someone put a gun on my head and forced me to play it now.” Jackson laughs. He said, “But I could at that time, for certain.” Campbell looked at Jackson and asked him, “How much would that make you?” Jackson laughed. He was offered the job. Jackson remained with Campbell’s band for 12 years.
He featured me on every show he ever did” and his name was also on marquees. Campbell died in 2017 and they remained close friends. Jackson produced Campbell’s final studio album, “Adios,” which he “treasured — that time we got to spend together in the studio.” He died in 2017. He would forget things and just laugh about it. Sometimes, Jackson would only do one line at a moment. He was so talented as a singer that it’s hard to tell. It’s flawless. He sang the same perfect pitch as always. He was now 80 years old and suffering from Alzheimer’s. It was amazing. He was the greatest.” Jackson can cite a number of Nashville’s musical accomplishments, including Adios, as one of his high points. His production “Livin’ Lovin’ and Losin’ — Songs of the Louvin Brothers”, which won the Country Album of the year 2003 Grammy Award, as well as a Grammy for the duet with Alison Krauss and James Taylor, is also included in this category. “I’m proud of that record — working with so many great musicians and all of their trust in me to make things right. Jackson’s goal was to be a songwriter, but it was a huge success — another of
He says those blessings are his. It was an inkling that his song, “A Far Cry from Over”, was cut by Mel Tillis & Nancy Sinatra. Jackson’s 1984 hit “Letter to Home”, which Campbell recorded, became his first Top 10 country song as a songwriter. “There he again was opening another door for us. He says that Jackson’s single “No Future in the Past”, by Vince Gill, was his most successful. He has also had hits from Wild Rose, Pam Tillis, and many other cuts, such as Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, Steve Wariner and Diamond Rio. His 1990 song of year, “Little Mountain Church House”, was chosen by the International Bluegrass Music Association. Jackson’s Grammy Award count He says, “It depends on how you view it.” “I have two hood ornaments.” He has one for best country album, one for best bluegrass album (“Spring Training”) 1991. “Maybe I could go for a best-rock album at some point,” Robin, his wife, laughs. Jackson produced and created a digital duet with Elvis Presley, singing “We Call on Him” from the gospel song. “That was a thrill,” Jackson says. Jackson may have more personal projects on his horizon. He says, referring to the large collection of songs that he has. “I need an album on me.” He says with a smile that he would also like to make another banjo album to show people that he still plays. I didn’t give it much thought about that status as a household name. It was just
It seemed like everything just clicked.” He shrugs. It didn’t really matter to my. Dolly knew who me was. Emmylou knew my identity. Emmylou knew who I was.