Stonewall Jackson was born in Tabor City, North Carolina, on November 6, 1932. Following a stint in the U.S. Navy, Jackson headed to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1956 where his demo tape was heard by legendary music producer Wesley Rose. That led to a coveted spot on WSM’s Grand Ole Opry and an eventual recording contract with Columbia Records.
Stonewall Jackson’s first single was “Don’t Be Angry” (1958), followed by “Life to Go” and “Waterloo,” both of which scored big on the country music charts in 1959, rising to #2 and #1, respectively. In the ensuing years, Jackson’s star would continue to rise as he chalked up such hits as “Why I’m Walkin'” (1959), “A Wound Time Can’t Erase” (1961), “B.J. the D.J.” (1963), “I Wash My Hands in Muddy Water” (1964), “Stamp Out Loneliness” (1966) and “Me and You and a Dog Named Boo” (1970).
In 2006, Stonewall Jackson made headlines, suing the Grand Ole Opry for age discrimination to the tune of $20 million. That lawsuit was later settled out of court for an undisclosed sum in 2008, with Jackson returning to the Opry as a regular performer.
Q: Just for the record, your full name is…?
Jackson: “Stonewall Jackson.”
Q: Where did you learn to play the guitar and sing?
Jackson: “South Georgia.”
Q: What is the proudest moment in your country music career?
Jackson: “November 3, 1956, became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.”
Q: What are some of the countries you have traveled to during your long career? Is there any particular performance abroad which truly stands out as memorable?
Jackson: “Just about every country that you can get into. Sweden tour. Voted #1 artist in the Caribbean. The Switzerland tour.”
Q: What person or persons were most instrumental in your country music career?
Jackson: “G.D. Hay and Ernest Tubb and Wes Rose.”
Q: What performers have you most enjoyed working with?
Jackson: “Carl Smith, Ferlin Husky, Webb Pierce, Tex Ritter, Red Foley, George Jones, Wilburn Brothers, Jimmy Dickens, Jean Shepard, Kitty Wells and Johnnie Wright, Hank Thompson, Lefty Frizzell.”
Q: Who are your favorite artists, the ones you like to kick back and listen to most often?
Jackson: “Hank Williams.”
Q: You have recorded and written many songs. Do you have any favorites?
Jackson: “‘Don’t Be Angry,’ ‘Why I’m Walkin’,’ ‘Wound Time Can’t Erase,’ ‘Tool Box.'”
Q: Of the albums you have recorded, does any one really stand out as the definitive Stonewall Jackson?
Jackson: “I Love a Song” [1963, #2 on the country music charts].”
Q: What was the reaction to your 1991 autobiography, From the Bottom Up?
Jackson: “It was a great seller and I am going to get it back in hardback, in the near future.”
Q: Do you sign autographs through the mail? If so, do you limit the number of items per person?
Jackson: “Yes, and no limit.”
Q: What is the strangest autograph request you have ever received?
Jackson: “I sign bald heads and always have to throw away the pen because the grease ruins it!”
Q: Are there any items you refuse to sign?
Jackson: “Absolutely, private parts and wet napkins!”
Q: Of today’s current country music stars, do you have any favorites?
Jackson: “Alan Jackson and George Strait.”
Q: It’s been a long and remarkable career. How has the ride been so far? Are there any current projects your fans should know about?
Jackson: “Great, precious. Yes, I have a Bear Family box set all Sony record originals and a Super Friends CD 50 stars on 21 songs. Available E.T. Record Shop.”
Stonewall Jackson, along with wife Juanita, currently resides on a farm in Brentwood, Tennessee, overlooking a nine-acre body of water appropriately named Lake Waterloo. In addition to operating his own music publishing company, Turp Tunes, Jackson also continues to tour with his band the Minute Men, with son Stonewall “Turp” Jackson Jr. playing drums. Hopefully, Stonewall Jackson will one day add Country Music Hall of Fame inductee to his impressive resume.