“Chattahoochee” is, without a doubt, Alan Jackson’s biggest hit. It became a summertime anthem for country music fans all over the world. But whether you’re going through some winter blues or just love summer, it’s always the right time to play this hit song.
Written by Jackson with songwriter Jim McBride, “Chattahoochee” was released as the third single from his A Lot About Livin’ (And a Little ‘Bout Love) album in 1993. The song reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart and spent four weeks there until it had fallen into a comfortable spot at No. 15 on the charts.
Shortly after the single hit radio, the song successfully sold 500,000 copies, and the album sold six million more copies, making it to the top of the country album charts.
Growing Up And Falling In Love Along The Chattahoochee River
The song is a fun track from which the album drew its title. It sings about growing up and falling in love along the Chattahoochee River, which flows from northern Georgia and forms part of Georgia’s borders and shares with Florida and Alabama. “Way down yonder on the Chattahoochee. Never knew how much that muddy water meant to me. But I learned how to swim, and I learned who I was. A lot about livin’ and a little ’bout love,” the country singer croons.
“Chattahoochee” took home trophies for CMA awards for Single of the Year and Song of the Year. The success shocked Alan Jackson, who said that he was just in need of an uptempo song for his album.
“Jim McBride and I were trying to write an uptempo song, and Jim came in with the line ‘Way down yonder on the Chattahoochee,'” Jackson recalled in the liner notes to 1995’s The Greatest Hits Collection. “It kind of went from there. It’s a song about having fun, growing up and coming of age in a small town — which really applies to anyone across the country, not just by the Chattahoochee. We never thought it would be as big as it’s become.”
The music video that came with the single remains a fan favorite too. It features Alan Jackson showing off his incredible waterskiing skills while wearing a pair of torn blue jeans and his signature cowboy hat. It won the CMA Award for Music Video of the Year in 1993.
Check out the iconic clip below.