On Dec. 8, recording artist Carl Jackson joined more than 30 other local performers featured on the Mississippi Country Music Trail. The trail, similar to the 140-member strong Mississippi Blues Trail, celebrates Mississippi's rich heritage of country music legends and chart toppers. Jackson's marker unveiling will take place during the annual "Home for Christmas Concert" at the Strand Theatre, 118 South Church St. in Louisville, Miss.
Jackson was born in Louisville in 1953. He learned to play banjo as a child and was already performing in the Grand Ole Opry by age 14. By age 20, he was an established recording vocalist, instrumentalist, songwriter and record producer in bluegrass and mainstream country music. Jackson quickly became one of the most sought-after contributors and collaborators in both genres.
"Carl Jackson proudly represents Mississippi's rich musical heritage," Mary Beth Wilkerson, director of the Mississippi Development Authority's tourism division, said in a statement. "He is an important addition to the Mississippi Country Music Trail and deserves this honor."
Jackson recorded four country singles for Columbia Records in the mid-1980s, two of them Top 40 hits, and he appeared as a back-up vocalist for artists such as Tammy Wynette, Hank Williams Jr., Roger Miller, Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard and Garth Brooks. One of his most famous performances was his salute "Livin', Lovin', Losin' - Songs of the Louvin Brothers," featuring Johnny Cash, Ronnie Dunn, Marty Stuart, Linda Ronstadt and Del McCoury, which won the 2003 Grammy for Country Album of the Year.
Jackson also recorded a bluegrass album with Merle Haggard and an all-star set exploring Mark Twain's life in songs. Throughout his career, Jackson has regularly returned to Louisville for "Home for Christmas" concerts. He was inducted into the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame in 2006.