Alan Jackson: Cracker Barrel Offers a Country Boy’s Collection
By Melissa Coker
Alan Jackson fans know he likes bologna on white bread now and then. What they may not know is that some of his other likes — such as his personal Hot and Barbecue blends, a signed cast-iron skillet and much more — are available at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store.
With more than 40 items marked from $1.99 to $199.99, the popular restaurant and shop chain offers memorabilia of this Country icon for buyers at nearly every budget. Selections include salt and pepper shakers, modeled directly from Jackson’s hat and boots; a music box; a Jackson-style hat; a new slew of songs on CD; and plenty of jewelry and clothing options for men and women. There’s also a cookbook, Who Says You Can’t Cook It All, packed with favorite recipes as well as family photos. Speaking of dinner, that $1.99 will fetch a cowboy hat-shaped tin of mints, while the $199.99 product is a limited-edition rocking chair, complete with Jackson’s etched-in autograph. A number of items from this collection are available as well at http://www.CBMusic.CrackerBarrel.com.
“Alan was the first artist we approached with this concept of a collection centered around Country heritage, family and traditions, all of which are important to the both of us,” said Peter Keiser, VP of Marketing, Cracker Barrel. “In our music program, we conduct research on an ongoing basis. Alan is a phenomenal star and he scored very, very well in our research.
“We really tried to keep the products as much in tune with Alan’s lifestyle as we could,” Keiser added — so much so that they literally took the shirt right off Jackson’s back. The selections in The Alan Jackson Collection were based on details as meticulous as the material and thread count of the shirts actually worn by the artist. Just the same, pricing was kept to a real-world level, with the value of the clothing scoring high in comparison-shopping tests undertaken by Cracker Barrel.
In one area of their partnership, Jackson followed in the footsteps of other Country luminaries who are selling their albums exclusively through the store. Thus Jackson’s Songs of Love and Heartache joins a list of CDs by Dailey & Vincent, Sara Evans, George Jones, Montgomery Gentry, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Josh Turner, Zac Brown Band and others that can be found only via Cracker Barrel.
Still, Jackson and Cracker Barrel share demographic appeal. “Cracker Barrel has been a part of my family since I was a young man,” noted Jackson. “I was really flattered when they came to me. I’ve been very impressed with the variety and quality of the items we have put together.”
“Cracker Barrel customers are Alan Jackson fans and share the small-town family sensibilities expressed in his music,” added Jackson’s manager, Craig Fruin of HK Management. “That’s a connection that can’t be manufactured. The strength of it was reflected in the first-week sales, when all of our projections were surpassed.”
The bottom line came from Keiser: “It’s done well enough for us to continue with him and possibly other artists in the future.”
Alan Jackson will be performing on the LP Field Concert Stage on Thursday, June 10, during the 2010 CMA Music Festival, which takes place Thursday through Sunday, June 10-13 in Downtown Nashville.
About the Photo: Alan Jackson autographs items from his Cracker Barrel collection in Downtown Nashville.
photo: Frederick Breedon
© 2010 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.