Country music veteran Alan Jackson has never been shy about his Christian faith and his mother. Jackson is giving expression to both of his loves on his upcoming new album Where Have You Gone which will be released on May 14. This is Jackson's first album of brand new material in 6 years. Long-time producer Keith Stegall returns to helm the album of 21 songs.
One of the album's highlight is Jackson's mother, Ruth Musick "Mama Ruth" Jackson, reading the Bible on the song "Where Her Heart Has Always Been." Jackson first wrote the song for Mama Ruth's funeral. One of Jackson's four sisters found the recording after the initial mix of the song was complete, and it was added on to finish the track.
"That was sweet. Towards the last few years, she had a scratchy voice," Jackson says. "But she was just such a sweet woman, a sweet, sweet lady, so we had to have that on here."
This is not the first time Mama Ruth inspired Jackson and his music. Mama Ruth also inspired Jackson's, Precious Memories, a collection of gospel hymns that was originally created as a Mother's Day gift to her. Jackson's second Christmas album, Let It Be Christmas, was also inspired by Mama Ruth's desire and request to hear her son record some of the holiday's traditional classics.
Mama Ruth died on Saturday morning, January 7, 2017. She passed away peacefully at her home in Newnan, Georgia at age 86. Jackson paid tribute to his parents in his hit song "Home," describing how their house was built around an old tool shed. This was the place Mama Ruth called home for 70 years until the day she died.
My mama raised five children - four girls, and there was me.
She found her strength in faith in God and a love of family.
She never had a social life; home was all she knew
Except the time she took a job to pay a bill or two.