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Mrs. Ruth Jackson, the mother of country superstar Alan Jackson, passed away on January 7, 2017 at the age of 86.
Mrs. Jackson, known as Mama Ruth to her son’s fans, inspired many of her son’s hit songs over the years. It was Mama Ruth who inspired Jackson’s Precious Memories, a collection of gospel hymns. Jackson intended the album to be a gift for his mother and never had any intention of anyone else hearing it.
Precious Memories included 15 tracks of traditional baptist hymns including “In the Garden,” “The Old Rugged Cross,” and “Softly and Tenderly.” After the initial commercial release and success of the album, Alan Jackson took the stage at the historic Ryman Auditorium and recorded a special live concert that was recorded for a DVD release.
Throughout the Precious Memories DVD performance, Alan Jackson and his mom offer commentary on the songs and share why they have such meaning to them. After the passing of Mama Ruth, it only seems fitting to share a video of the song that brought her to tears during Alan’s live Ryman performance.
“I Want To Stroll Over Heaven With You” is a song that Alan Jackson admits he wasn’t too familiar with. But, his mother “adopted” the song after his dad passed away in 2009. Prior to losing her husband, Mama Ruth and her husband were camping and attended a gospel singing where they first heard “I Want To Stroll Over Heaven With You.” She was instantly moved by the song and its lyrics.
“Eugene reached over and touched my hand and said, ‘You like that song, don’t you?’ It was a special song from then on. And now, every time I hear it I think I’m gonna stroll over Heaven with him one of these days,” Mama Ruth said.
Watch Alan Jackson’s live performance of the classic hymn live at the Ryman in the video below.
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