When Ernest Tubb recorded, “The Old Rugged Cross,” in 1955 it quickly became a country gospel legend. The high lonesome melody worked perfectly for the country gospel audience of the time. But the astounding thing about this song is that, decades later nothing has changed. This iconic hymn is still a favorite among gospel and country artists alike. Even after hundreds of recordings by dozens of musicians from many different genres of music, the song still touches the heart of Christians everywhere.
Among the iconic recordings of this wonderful song, none can compare with Alan Jackson’s rendition. Jackson did not realize, in 2005, how much of an impact his recording would have on Christians world wide.
Jackson’s recording of, “The Old Rugged Cross,” has been praised by critics everywhere. Because of its strong appeal, the song saw charting for both Christian and country listeners alike. Music critic Jolene Downs cites that the album and, “The Old Rugged Cross,” recording in general, is, “one of the most reflective gospel albums she has ever had the pleasure of listening to.” She claims that this particular album is a definite must have for gospel and country lovers alike.
Jackson has always alluded to his strong Christian roots, which were first established in the small Georgia town of Newnan. Before his career took off, Jackson could be found on the quaint Newnan town square on Saturday nights, singing out of the back of his pick up truck. Family and friends remember that gospel was always a part of his song lists.
Fans have always found it reassuring that as Jackson’s career progressed in the country mainstream, he consistently returned to his gospel roots with recordings such as this as well as others. Today’s music fans will find this modern recording of an old time classic to be just as inspiring as it was in days gone by.