The composers for the song “Midnight in Montgomery” are American country music singer-songwriters, Alan Jackson and Don Sampson. Recorded by Alan Jackson, this was the fourth single from Jackson’s second album, Don’t Rock the Jukebox. After its release in April 1992, the song peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. Moreover, it occupied the 3rd spot on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart. The song is a mid-tempo, largely acoustic ballad in the key of D minor.
The Story Behind “Midnight in Montgomery”
Have you ever wondered what this song is about? “Midnight in Montgomery” is a hit about the late Hank Williams. Knowingly, Mr. Williams was from Montgomery, Alabama. On Alan Jackson’s way to Mobile for a New Year’s Eve show, he makes a visit to a Montgomery grave. Whether planned or coincidental, Williams died on New Year’s Day 1953 and was buried in Montgomery. There, Jackson encounters the ghost of Williams who thanks him for paying tribute before disappearing. In addition to that, the song also references several Williams’ hits including “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”. At the end of the song, you can hear“Hank’s always singing there”.
In one review, Leeann Ward of Country Universe gave the song an A grade.
She stated that “the song’s story is fascinating in and of itself, but equally impressive is the recording as a whole package”. Adding to that, she said, “along with the ominous production and chilling story, Jackson’s performance strays from its usual smooth reliability and picks up its own haunting quality, which perfectly adds to the overall darkness of the song”.
The Music Video
Jim Shea was the director of the video of “Midnight in Montgomery”. The video premiered in April 1992. Filmed in black and white under a full moon amidst the headstones of an empty cemetery, it brought chills to its viewers. To add to its success, it went on to win the Country Music Association award for Music Video of the Year 1992.