Tony Jackson

Click here for Tony Jackson’s One-Sheet
Biography

Is it premature to see Hall of Fame material in a guy who’s just releasing his first album?

Not if that guy is Tony Jackson.

To put it plainly, Jackson is one of the most gifted singers ever to grace country music.

His initial videos from the album have excited over 25 Million Facebook views seemingly overnight, while Jackson tours tirelessly in support of the record.

The respect Jackson has already earned within the music community is evident throughout Tony Jackson, as the new album is titled.  It features songs and/or performances by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members John Sebastian, Steve Cropper and Dr. John “Mac” Rebennack, Country Music Hall of Famers Vince Gill, Bill Anderson and Conway Twitty and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame luminary Norro Wilson.

It is the ease with which Jackson makes every song—even the familiar ones—distinctly his own that sets him apart.  Who else would dare to try and then succeed in bringing a fresh layer of emotional urgency to such a classic as George Jones’ “The Grand Tour” or Conway Twitty’s eternal “It’s Only Make Believe”?

On the first-time and lesser known songs, Jackson mints his own classics.  With its sweeping steel guitar flourishes and ambient barroom clatter, he transforms John Sebastian and Phil Galdston’s “Last Call” into the sweetest, most affectionate separation ballad imaginable.  With reverence and a twinkle in his eye, he enlists Sebastian and Vince Gill in revivifying (after 50 years) the Lovin’ Spoonful’s 1966 romp, “Nashville Cats.”  “When asked if we should recut the song,” Sebastian begins, “I said absolutely but we have to get Vince Gill, Paul Franklin and today’s real Nashville Cats in on the session and fortunately it was preserved on video,” he beams.

After capturing perfectly, the excitement of new love in Bill Anderson’s “I Didn’t Wake Up This Morning,” he moves on to a memory-stirring homage to Merle Haggard, Hank Williams Jr. and Willie Nelson in “They Lived It Up,” a lyrical scrapbook from Anderson and Bobby Tomberlin.

Jackson shines as a keen-eyed songwriter in his own right with such memorable excursions as “Drink By Drink,” “Old Porch Swing,” and “She’s Taking Me Home.”

From start to finish, Tony Jackson stands out as a “discovery” album, the kind you listen to with such delight that you have to recommend it to friends.  And hundreds of thousands have done just that.

Jackson is currently a headliner on the Old Dominion Barn Dance in Richmond, Virginia, and is almost certainly the only major bank executive ever to abandon a prominent IT job in finance at a Fortune 500 company to embark on a career in country music.  But he didn’t grow up a country fan.

The son of a Navy man, he led a base-to-base existence, at one point living with his family in Rota, Spain for three years.  His early musical background was sketchy at best.  “I sang ‘White Christmas’ in the Christmas play in the sixth grade,” he recalls.  “Everybody seemed to love it, but I was a wreck. My mother forced me to sing in the church choir, but I was kind of buried in the voices along with everybody else.”  This was basically his entire musical resume until ten or so years ago when a friend whose band had lost its lead singer asked Jackson to try out for the spot.  “I did,” he says, “and I was hooked after that.”

Two weeks after graduating from high school, Jackson joined the Marines.  “I told my dad I was joining because I was sick of taking orders,” he says with a wry grin.  There was as much getting-ahead as gung-ho in Jackson’s enlistment.  “I was a computer and electronics geek as a teenager,” he says.  “When I talked to the recruiter, he told me the Marine Corps had just started a computer science school in Quantico, Virginia.  Fortunately, I scored high enough on the entrance exam to go to that school.” It was a smart move.  When he finished service, a prominent bank in Richmond snapped him up to work in its Information Technology division, initially assigning him the lowly chore of re-setting passwords.  “I was way overqualified,” he says, “so I got promoted fast.  I was a senior vice president by my early 30s.”

It was while in the Marines that he first started paying serious attention to country music.  “My mother listened only to gospel,” he says.  “My dad was into jazz, hip hop, R&B, new jack swing—stuff like that, but Armed Forces Radio played everything.  When I was living in Spain—when I was 10 to 13—Randy Travis came over there on a USO tour.  Some friends and I were out there early when they were setting up the stage, and we actually got to talk to him before we realized he was the guy who’d be performing later.  He was really cool to us. In the Marine Corps, when my friends and I played music for each other, we were all homesick.   So when you’d listen to these country songs that talked about family and home and heartbreak, it would really grab you.”

A song that particularly appealed to Jackson was George Jones’ heartbreaking 1974 hit, “The Grand Tour.”  When Jones died, Jackson and some friends went into a Richmond studio and recorded it.  In the process, they also made a performance video that eventually wound up on YouTube.  By sheer accident, singer Donna Dean Stevens saw the video and instantly decided Jackson should do “The Grand Tour” on the Old Dominion Barn Dance, which she had just resurrected.  After she witnessed Jackson’s standing ovation—an honor that hadn’t yet been accorded to any of the show’s headliners—she offered to co-manage and co-produce him with noted talent manager Jim Della Croce. A commanding performer in her own right, Dean Stevens recorded for Mercury Records in Nashville as Donna Meade. She is also the widow of Country Music Hall of Fame member Jimmy Dean and a zealous guardian of his vast musical legacy.

Dean Stevens and Della Croce then whisked Jackson to Nashville, where he recorded most of Tony Jackson at the hallowed RCA Records Studios.  In one of his best-loved songs, George Jones considered the dwindling ranks of country superstars and asked plaintively “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes.”

Tony Jackson volunteering for duty.

 

Management & Booking: Donna Dean-Stevens & Jim Della Croce 615.419.9989 jim@pathfindermanagement.com

Label: DDS Entertainment Nashville, TN

Produced by Donna Dean-Stevens & Jim Della Croce

Recorded at RCA Studio A and RCA Studio C Nashville, TN Engineered by Eddie Gore

Public Relations: The Press Office tourpress@thepressoffice.com

Radio Promotion: TZM Promotions – Tim McFadden, Ann Chrisman, and Regina Raleigh

www.TonyJacksonMusic.com

 

Jackson One-Sheet

 

Recent bios:

So Tony Jackson is up there on stage, and he’s singing . . .

Step right up, come on in if you’d like to take the grand tour

Of a lonely house that once was home sweet home.

Jackson knows how to work a bar crowd. He’s done it for years. How to hone his voice to that sharp, emphatic edge that slices through the noise, and tones down the loud table conversations and clinking bottles. But tonight is different. This is the Old Dominion Barn Dance with an older, more sedate audience—one not primed for partying by alcohol and visions of late-night hookups. They’re polite and attentive, of course, but they’ve still got that make-me-care look on their faces. So he drives deeper into the mournful George Jones classic.

I have nothing here to sell you, just some things that I will tell you,

Some things I know will chill you to the bone.

Then he notices the iPhone cameras popping up all along the front row. This is good. This is a sign.

As you leave you’ll see the nursery, oh she left me without mercy

Taking nothing but our baby and my heart.

 

As the last note dissolves into memory, the crowd springs to its feet. Not just a few people, mind you, but all of them. Jackson bows and sweeps his arm back toward the band. And still they cheer.

Presenting Tony Jackson

Tony Jackson is now a regular performer on the Old Dominion Barn Dance in Richmond, Virginia and almost certainly the only Bank of America official ever to enjoy a thriving parallel career in country music. Apart from fronting around 75 shows this year, Jackson is currently recording a project in Nashville that will embrace both his original songs and such revered standards as the wistful “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind” and the irrepressibly sunny “Bummin’ Around.”

Jackson didn’t grow up a fan of country music. Nor was he swept into it after it surged in popularity in the 1990s. The son of a Navy man, he was raised primarily in Virginia. But like most military kids, he led a base-to-base existence, at one point living with his family in Rota, Spain for three years. He concedes that his early musical background was sketchy at best. “I sang in the Christmas play in the sixth grade,” he recalls. “I had a solo—‘White Christmas.’ Everybody seemed to love it, but I was a wreck. My mother forced me to sing in the church choir, but I was kind of buried in the voices along with everybody else.” This was basically his whole musical resume until “eight or nine years ago” when a friend whose band had lost its lead singer asked Jackson to try out for the spot. “I did,” he says, “and I was hooked after that.”

Two weeks after graduating from high school, Jackson joined the Marines. “I told my dad I was joining because I was sick of taking orders,” he says with a wry grin. There was as much getting-ahead as gung-ho in Jackson’s enlistment. “I was a computer and electronics geek as a teenager,” he says. “When I talked to the recruiter, he told me the Marine Corps had just started a computer science school in Quantico, Virginia. Fortunately, I scored high enough on the entrance exam to go to that school.” It was a smart move. When he finished service, the Bank of America in Richmond snapped him up to work in its Information Technology division, initially assigning him the lowly chore of re-setting passwords. “I was way overqualified,” he says, “but all I knew was I didn’t have to get up at 5:30 in the morning anymore and go running around in the mountains. I’d come into the bank around 8 o’clock, re-set specific passwords and I’m good. I got promoted fast. I was a senior vice president by my early 30s. Now I manage the network operations center for the bank.”

It was while in the Marines that he first started paying serious attention to country music. “My mother listened only to gospel,” he says. “My dad was into jazz, hip hop, R&B, new jack swing—stuff like that. But Armed Forces Radio played everything. When I was living in Spain—when I was 10 to 13—Randy Travis came over there on a USO tour. Some friends and I were out there early when they were setting up the stage, and we actually got to talk to him before we realized he was the guy who’d be performing later. He was really cool to us. In the Marine Corps, when my friends and I played music for each other, we were all homesick. So when you’d listen to these country songs that talked about family and home and heartbreak, it would really grab you. It was a combination of those things that got country on my radar.”

A song that particularly appealed to Jackson was George Jones’ “The Grand Tour.” When Jones died, Jackson and some friends went into a studio and recorded it. In the process, they also made a performance video that eventually wound up on YouTube. Somehow, singer Donna Meade saw the video then circulating around Richmond and decided Jackson should do “The Grand Tour” on the Old Dominion Barn Dance, which she had just resurrected. A commanding performer in her own right, Meade is also the widow of Country Music Hall of Fame member Jimmy Dean and a zealous guardian of his vast musical legacy. After she witnessed Jackson’s standing ovation—an honor that hadn’t yet been accorded to any of the show’s headliners—she offered to co-manage and co-produce him with noted talent manager Jim Della Croce.

Meade and Della Croce then whisked Jackson to Nashville to record at the hallowed RCA Records Studio C, where he is now well into completing a projected EP. Jackson is no newcomer to Nashville, however. He and his band—Jackson Ward—recorded a CD there in 2013 and performed at Tootsie’s and Honk Tonk Central, two of Music City’s brightest beacons for live shows.

In 2016, Meade and Della Croce will take Jackson’s original composition and first single, “Drink By Drink,” to radio and iTunes. In it, listeners will discover one of the strongest, most emotionally engaging voices since Randy Travis blew the doors off country music in 1985 and ushered in a new era. Until then, folks can sample Jackson’s magic at www.tonyjacksonmusic.com.

So step right up. Come on in.

 

photo

Richmond Magazine  A Country Convert

Singer Tony Jackson got hooked on Nashville while living in Spain

by

July 22, 2016  10:45 AM

Tony Jackson is on the move.

As we talk, the country music singer is navigating traffic in mid-town Manhattan — “Thank goodness I’m not driving; these people are crazy,” he says — on his way to a meeting with higher-ups at SiriusXM satellite radio. The Richmond-based performer is promoting his debut solo single, “Drink by Drink,” which has been climbing the country charts and performing, as he says, “way better than expectations.”

To read full article, click here.

 

Singer-songwriter and ex-Marine Tony Jackson shows his love of country

by Jim Bessman

Tony Jackson at old dominion
Tony Jackson at Old Dominion Barn Dance Photo Credit: Dave Parrish

Country artist Tony Jackson didn’t grow up a country music fan, but his stint in the Marines offered a natural entry into the genre.

In fact, he’s now a regular at the recently revived Old Dominion Barn Dance country show in Richmond, Va., though he was in New York yesterday promoting his debut single “Drink by Drink,” which he co-wrote, and its CD single companion cover of the George Jones classic “The Grand Tour.”  To read full article, click here.