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 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.
Artists currently scheduled to appear at LP Field include (in alphabetical order):
Thursday, June 10: Jason Aldean, Danny Gokey, Alan Jackson, Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw, and Carrie Underwood.
Friday, June 11: Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Josh Turner, Keith Urban and more.
Saturday, June 12: Easton Corbin, Billy Currington, Randy Houser, Martina McBride, Rascal Flatts, and Zac Brown Band.
Sunday, June 13: Trace Adkins, Justin Moore, Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, Darius Rucker, and Blake Shelton.
Additional artists will be announced soon. Surprise guests have also become a hallmark of the Festival, enriching an already star-packed lineup.
Four-day, upper level general admission tickets are still available for $110. All other levels are SOLD OUT. Single night tickets to the individual Nightly Concerts at LP Field are on sale for $30 for upper level general admission. To order tickets, call 1-800-CMA-FEST (262-3378); visit www.Ticketmaster.com to buy online or charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at any Ticketmaster outlet. Prices do not include applicable handling fees. Ticket prices are subject to change without notice. All sales are final and non-refundable. Artists appearing subject to change.
For up-to-the-minute information about tickets, travel information, schedules, artist appearances and more, visit www.CMAfest.com. Fans can visit the “Connect” page to sign up for CMA Exclusive e-news and join the CMA MOB mobile community, plus link through to CMA’s Facebook (www.Facebook.com/CountryMusicAssociation), Twitter (www.Twitter.com/CountryMusic), MySpace (www.MySpace.com/CMAMusicFestival), and YouTube (www.YouTube.com/CountryMusicAssoc) pages.
CMA Music Festival is organized and produced by the Country Music Association. Premiere Radio Networks is the official radio broadcaster. Partners include Barnes & Noble; Blue Bell Creameries; Carl Black Chevrolet; Chevy: The Official Ride of Country Music; CMT; COMBOS Snacks; Dr Pepper; DRIVE4COPD; Durango Boots; Farm Boy and Farm Girl Brands; Field & Stream; GEICO; General Cigar Co., Inc.; Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee; Greased Lightning Cleaning Products; Jack Daniel’s; McDonalds; Ocean Spray; Random House Children’s Books; Roper Apparel & Footwear; Texas on Tour; VELVEETA Shells and Cheese; Votre Vu; World Vision; Wrangler.
© 2010 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.
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