World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Jackson (song)

Article Id: WHEBN0004312145
Reproduction Date:

Title: Jackson (song)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: This Town (Frank Sinatra song), Jerry Lee's Greatest, One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart), When He Walks on You, To Make Love Sweeter for You
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Jackson (song)

Song from the album Greatest Hits, Vol. 1
Released 1967
Genre Country
Writer Billy Edd Wheeler and Jerry Leiber (as Gaby Rodgers)
This is about the Wheeler/Leiber song recorded by the Cashes and by others. For the Lucinda Williams song, see Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.

"Jackson" is a song written in 1963 by Billy Edd Wheeler and Jerry Leiber and first recorded by Wheeler. It is best known from two 1967 releases: a pop hit single by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood and a country hit single by Johnny Cash and June Carter, which has become more appreciated by non-country audiences in recent years as a result of Cash's continued popularity and its use in the 2011 film The Help. The song is about a married couple who find (according to the lyrics) that the "fire" has gone out of their relationship. The song relates the desire of both partners to travel to Jackson where they each expect to be welcomed as someone far better suited to the city's lively night life than the other is.


Actress Gaby Rodgers is cited as co-author[1] of "Jackson", because Leiber used his then-wife's name as a pseudonym in writing the song with Wheeler. First recorded in 1963 by Wheeler, he explains the evolution of the song, and Leiber's contribution:

'Jackson' came to me when I read the script for Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (I was too broke to see the play on Broadway)...When I played it for Jerry [Leiber], he said 'Your first verses suck,' or words to that effect. 'Throw them away and start the song with your last verse, "We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout."' When I protested to Jerry that I couldn't start the song with the climax, he said, 'Oh, yes you can.' So I rewrote the song and thanks to Jerry's editing and help, it worked. I recorded the song on my first Kapp Records album, with Joan Sommer, an old friend from Berea, Kentucky, singing the woman's part. Johnny Cash learned the song from that album, A New Bag of Songs, produced by Jerry and Mike.[2]

There has been much speculation regarding which Jackson the song is about; but, according to Wheeler, "Actually, I didn’t have a specific Jackson in mind. I just liked the sharp consonant sound, as opposed to soft-sounding words like Nashville."[3]

Notable covers

The song appeared on The Kingston Trio album Sunny Side!, released in 1963. Since the dialogue in this version is between father and son, the lyrics differ slightly from later recorded versions.

Johnny Cash and June Carter released a version in February 1967,[4] reaching #2 on the US Country charts and winning a Grammy Award in 1968 for Best Country & Western Performance Duet, Trio or Group. This version was reprised by Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, performing as Johnny Cash and June Carter, in the 2005 film, Walk the Line, and also appears on the soundtrack of 2011 film The Help.[5]

Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood released a version in July 1967,[6] reaching #14 on the US Charts that year. The song was featured in Nancy Sinatra's 1967 TV special: Movin' With Nancy.[7]

Finnish singers Carola Standertskjöld and Lasse Mårtenson recorded the song in 1967 as a duet, under the title of Mä lähden Stadiin (‘I’m goin’ to town (i.e. to Helsinki)’). They performed it on the Finnish television in a program called Jatkoaika (‘extra time’), also in 1967.[8]

INXS and Jenny Morris recorded this for the Australian cassette EP Dekadance

Florence + the Machine recorded a cover version of Jackson for their live album Florence + The Machine MTV Unplugged featuring lead singer Florence Welch and Josh Homme on vocals.

Pansy Division recorded a version in 1994 on a 7" single.


Pepper Sprout, a Midwestern gourmet restaurant in Dubuque, Iowa, was named after the lyrics in "Jackson."[9]

The group Prefab Sprout took their name from a mishearing of the lyrics.[10]

Jackson is featured in the Pilot episode of Defiance, where the two main characters listen to the song and then sing along.[11]



  1. ^ "Full 03". Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  2. ^ "Billy Edd Wheeler". Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  3. ^ Audra, Buick (24 August 2012). Jackson' by Billy Edd Wheeler"'". Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "Original versions of Jackson by Johnny Cash & June Carter". SecondHandSongs. 1963-06-07. Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  5. ^ "The Help (Music From the Motion Picture)". July 26, 2011. Retrieved January 30, 2012. 
  6. ^ Andrew Eric Stowell. "1967 Top 40 Hits - Rock And Pop Music - Retro Hits - The Tunes You Grew Up With". Retro Hits. Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  7. ^ Nancy Sinatra (2000). Movin' with Nancy (Song listing). Chatsworth, CA: Image Intertainment. 
  8. ^ "Mä lähden Stadiin". Jatkoaika. 1967. Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  9. ^ Pepper Sprout :: Midwest Cuisine :: Dubuque, Iowa Retrieved on 4-04-10.
  10. ^ Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums
  11. ^ Video on YouTube
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.