The American country music singer and songwriter Jamey Johnson originally hails from Enterprise, Alabama. Born on July 14, 1975, the childhood he grew up in Montgomery, Alabama, was heavily influenced by country music legends Alabama and Alan Jackson. After graduating from Jefferson Davis High School, Johnson attended Jacksonville State University where he was a member of the school’s marching band, the Marching Southerners. After two years at the university, Johnson dropped out and served for the United States Marine Corps Reserve for four years. Whenever in the Montgomery area, he would perform country music at various bars and venues while still a Marine. Realizing country music was his true career of choice, Johnson moves to Nashville, Tennessee in the year 2000.
While in Nashville, Jamey Johnson quickly made valuable connections with key people that would help shape his career. Starting with fiddler Greg Perkins who would later have him sing a duet with Gretchen Wilson on a demo recording. Other demo songs featuring Johnson include “Songs About Me” which was cut by Trace Adkins, and “That’s How They Do It in Dixie” which was cut by Hank Williams, Jr. and associates. On October 21, 2002, Johnson released his first studio album They Call Me Country, which was something he released independently.
Another key connection Johnson made was with Buddy Cannon a producer and songwriter who assisted him in landing his first recording contract, which was with BNA Records. Produced by his friend, Buddy Cannon, Johnson’s second studio album, The Dollar, was released on January 31, 2006. With only one song from the album to chart, BNA dropped Johnson, which later saw him divorce his wife and live a reclusive lifestyle at a friend’s house. While there, he wrote many songs for various artists, including George Strait, whose chart-topping single “Give It Away” was written together by Johnson, Buddy Cannon, and Bill Anderson. This song placed George Strait’s name in the books with a new record of 51 number one hits with Billboard’s music charts.
George Strait wasn’t the only top-charting country music star to benefit from Jamey Johnson’s songwriting talent. Trace Adkins charted two of Johnson’s written songs in 2007, one of which was “Ladies Love Country Boys,” which was the first number one hit Adkins had in ten years.
Getting Out Again
September 2007 saw Jamey Johnson appear in a new Fox TV series Nashville, but it was cancelled after only airing two episodes. Later, Johnson records and release his third studio album That Lonesome Song on August 5, 2008, through Mercury Nashville’s label. It proved to be considerably more successful as, since its release, the album has earned the Recording Industry Association of America’s Platinum Certification. Johnson earned himself a 2009 nomination for New Artist of the Year by the Country Music Association, as well as a 2010 nomination for Top New Solo Vocalist by the Academy of Country Music.
Since then, Jamey Johnson has released the album The Guitar Song on September 14, 2010, which earned RIAA’s Gold Certification for its commercial success. He also released Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran on October 16, 2012. Afterward, a Christmas EP was recorded and released on November 19, 2014, simply titled The Christmas Song. Since then, there haven’t been any studio albums from Johnson, which he blames songwriting has since become more difficult after receiving a concussion due to slipping on some ice. He has, however, released “Alabama Pines” and “You Can” as singles during 2015. Since then, Johnson has performed on stage, both as a soloist and in collaboration with other artists.
Top 10 Jamey Johnson Songs
#10 – Give It Away
Johnson originally co-wrote “Give It Away” for George Strait, whose performance of it earns the country music legend Song of the Year awards with the Academy of Country Music (AMC) and the Country Music Association (CMA). While Johnson himself didn’t perform this song officially, he still gets the credit.
#9 – Stars In Alabama
Serving as an ode to his home state, Johnson’s performance of “Stars In Alabama” brings a nostalgic feel, which Johnson admits was an inspired song he co-wrote with Teddy Gentry. This song serves as a grassroots favorite, one that puts more value in family favorites as opposed to commercialistic expectations.
#8 – Dreaming My Dreams With You
Johnson’s album That Lonesome Song is a cover song that was originally performed by Waylon Jennings, which did extremely well for him when it was released in 1974. Johnson’s 2009 version is what his fans describe as stellar, each of them sharing he’s at his best when playing soulful country music that doesn’t hold anything back.
#7 – Macon
It was never officially released as a single, but it definitely fits the mood of the 2010 album The Guitar Song, opting for a more traditionally twangy style of country music as opposed to contemporary country-pop. The most devout fans of Jamey Johnson personally consider this song among their top two favorites ever to come from the conservative country artist.
#6 – My Way to You
Coming from the 2009 album The Guitar Song is “My Way to You,” which features an introduction that sets the mood to enjoy a simple country song that many fans of the genre prefer as opposed to some material that seems to have too much pop influence for their liking. The down-home feel Johnson delivers with the performance of this song makes it a classic favorite to just sit on the porch and listen.
#5 – Lead Me Home
Classified as one of Jamey Johnson’s most emotional pieces, “Lead Me Home” serves as a heartfelt piece among fans that can relate to the life of the military. The gospel undertone is considered as part of Johnson’s trademark, as well as one of the most underrated songs coming from his 2005 album The Dollar.
#4 – Playing the Part
For fans of Jamey Johnson, they find the music video behind the song “Playing the Part” a rather humorous take on a man’s journey in what may seem like a less than ideal environment is simply part of life’s cycle and how we each play our part, regardless of how insignificant it may seem to be. Johnson’s performance of the song, which comes from his 2009 album The Guitar Song, cracked into the top forty US Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart by peaking at 39th place.
#3 – High Cost of Living
Coming from Johnsons’ 2008 album That Lonesome Song is a song both fans and critics admit serves as a beautifully packaged bundle of blues, country, and jazz that can only be performed with perfection by Jamey Johnson himself. On the US Billboard Hot Country Songs list, it peaked at the 34th spot.
#2 – The Dollar
The one and only album labeled with BNA Records features “The Dollar” as the best-charting single to come from it. With the US Billboard Hot Country Songs list, it peaked at fourteenth. And with the US Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Chart, The Dollar reached the top spot. What inspired Johnson to write and record the song was being away from his daughter for two months while working at a construction site.
#1 – In Color
The most commercially successful song coming from Jamey Johnson is “In Color,” which comes from his album That Lonesome Song. It became Johnsons’ first hit to crack into the top ten, registering at ninth place with the US Billboard Hot Country Songs in January of 2009. The ballad’s success also earned RIAA’s Gold Certification with well over one million copies of the hit sold. The song was originally intended for Trace Adkins, but he insisted Johnson sing it himself. Adkins did, however, perform it anyway as an iTunes bonus track on his 2008 album X. In Color also ranked at 58th spot with the US Billboard Hot 100 Chart. The song also won Song of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards.