Country Music Memories: Alan Jackson Makes His Opry Debut

Alan Jackson was just a country newcomer with a promising new single when he made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry. The future superstar performed his then-current single, “Here in the Real World,” when he debuted on the hallowed stage on March 3, 1990.

Jackson had actually seen his debut single, “Blue Blooded Woman,” stiff at country radio. Released in 1989 in advance of his debut album, Here in the Real World, “Blue Blooded Woman” stalled at No. 45. Arista followed up by releasing the album’s title song as its second single in January of 1990, and it was already gaining significant steam by the time Jackson performed it at the Opry after an introduction from Jimmy C. Newman.

It was a highlight for the aspiring country star, whose previous day job had included delivering mail to the Opry. “Here in the Real World” peaked at No. 3 on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart just over a month later, on April 20, 1990, launching Jackson as a major new artist in country music. He continued his winning streak with “Wanted” and “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow” before scoring his first No. 1 hit with “I’d Love You All Over Again,” his fifth and final single from the debut album.

Jackson helped usher in a wave of new country music traditionalists in 1990, and he was inducted into the Opry as a full member on June 7, 1991, just over a year after making his debut on the historic stage.

“The ultimate dream when you’re in country music is to be asked to join the Grand Ole Opry,” Jackson reflects. “You think about people like Hank Williams, and Mr. Acuff, and George Jones, who stood on that spot of wood. That’s what makes you so nervous — to think about the historical part of the Opry and how it’s played such a part in country music.”

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