With John Mellecamp’s blessing, Jake Owen conjured up the “Cougar” with the release of his recent single, “I Was Jack (You Were Diane).”
Both melodically and lyrically, Jake’s new single is rooted in Mellencamp’s iconic 1982 hit, “Jack & Diane.” In fact, Mellencamp received a songwriting credit on Jake’s “I Was Jack (You Were Diane), along with songwriters Tommy Cecil, David Ray, Jody Stevens and Craig Wiseman.”
“When I heard the song, I thought to myself, ‘I’m glad I didn’t write this,’ because the legalities behind using a song that is that iconic,” says Jake to Kix Brooks of American Country Countdown. “[The songwriters] sent it to [Mellencamp] and his manager, and they actually got back to us saying that as many times as they’ve heard people try to take that song and do something with it, John’s never been for it. Ever. And, they said that. He gave us his blessing to use it. And, they actually licensed us some of his content to use for our video that we’re making, so it feels good to know that he kind of gave his stamp of approval. I mean, that was a big kind of chance for me—thinking about doing this song—because of the folks out there that are gonna be like, ‘How are you gonna take a classic song like this and redo something that’s already great?’ You know? And, really for us, it was more about paying homage to that song while still making it relevant in today’s world.”
The new tune cracked the Top 20 this week, becoming Jake’s first single to achieve Top 20 status since “American Country Love Song” reached No. 1 in 2016.
Listen to “I Was Jack (You Were Diane)” below.
photo by AFF-USA.com