LifeNotes: Ruth Jackson, Mother of Alan Jackson, Dies at 86

Alan Jackson Ruth Jackson

Alan Jackson‘s mother, Ruth Musick Jackson, affectionately known by family and friends as “Mama Ruth,” passed away Saturday (Jan.7) at her home in Newnan, Georgia, where she resided for 70 years. She was 86.

“Mama Ruth” was well-known and loved by her son’s fans and her influence factored heavily into his songs throughout his career. She inspired his Precious Memories album, a collection of hymns originally created as a gift to her for Mother’s Day with no intention of being a commercial release. And Jackson’s second holiday album, Let It Be Christmas, was also inspired by Mama Ruth’s desire to hear her son sing some of the holiday’s traditional classics. And the early days of his parents’ marriage of course inspired his song “Home,” as well.

Mama Ruth was born in 1930 in Lowell, Georgia, and married Jackson’s daddy, Eugene Jackson, in 1946. The two had five children, Alan and four girls, and she is survived by her children as well as 12 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.




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Hollabaugh, a staff writer at MusicRow magazine, has over 20 years of music business experience and has written for publications including American Profile, CMA Close Up, Nashville Arts And Entertainment, The Boot and Country Weekly. She has a Broadcast Journalism and Speech Communication degree from Texas Christian University, (go Horned Frogs), and welcomes your feedback or story ideas at

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