DEC. 4, 2009 — When Battle Ground physician Rick Jackson launched his first bid for Congress in the late 1990s, he and his actor-musician son Jonathan Jackson wrote a country song championing freedom, family and faith.
Rick Jackson recorded “Freedom, Family and Faith” to play on the campaign trail but hadn’t had a use for it since — at least until this summer. He was unhappy with the politicians running the White House and Congress, and his daughter, lawyer and author Candice Jackson, suggested revisiting the song.
With Candice’s help, he reworked the lyrics to reflect the current state of the nation, tackling issues such as corporate bailouts and corruption on Wall Street.
Jackson sees himself as Rick the Doctor, akin to Joe the Plumber, an everyman willing to question elected leaders’ decisions and policies. He’s concerned with what he views as increased government interference in people’s lives since President Obama took office and Democrats regained majority control of Congress.
His new single is his rallying cry, and is available for download online through CDBaby and iTunes. Late last month, Jackson traveled to New York City to perform “Freedom, Family and Faith” on the national Fox News morning show “Fox & Friends.” After his segment aired, the song was the top country seller on CDBaby.
“It’s really been fun and rewarding to get to do something you really believe in and see it catch on, reinforcing things for some people and for other people maybe helping them see things in a little different light,” said Jackson, 54.
This isn’t Jackson’s first brush with being part of the music industry. In the early 1990s, Jackson — who uses his full name, Ricky Lee Jackson, when performing — went to Nashville to record an eponymous album subtitled “The Other Side.” The album’s biggest hit, “I Think My Mama Loves You,” received some radio play.
Jackson’s family members are no strangers to show business, either. Jonathan Jackson, 27, fronts the band Enation and has appeared in such films as “Insomnia” with Robin Williams and “Tuck Everlasting” and on the now-cancelled Fox television drama “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.” He recently reprised his role as Lucky Spencer on the ABC soap opera “General Hospital.”
Jackson’s elder son, Richard Lee Jackson, 30, is an actor as well. His resume includes an episode of “Ally McBeal” and the film “Bring It On Again.” He also plays drums for Enation.
Jonathan plays guitar on “Freedom, Family and Faith,” with Rick providing the vocals. Richard plays drums on the track, and both brothers are co-producers along with Rick and Vancouver songwriter, musician and producer Ronn Chick. They recorded the song in September, primarily at Dead Aunt Thelma’s Studio in Portland.
Candice Jackson isn’t featured on the song, but she’s familiar with the entertainment industry. It’s an area of focus for her practice, Candice E. Jackson Attorney at Law in Vancouver. She has dabbled in acting too, appearing in the pilot for a Fox TV series called “Medicine Ball” in the mid 1990s.
The Jacksons are known in the local political arena as well as in Hollywood. Rick Jackson ran unsuccessfully as a Republican congressional candidate in 1998, and Candice served as his campaign manager. He ran again in 2000 but pulled out. After that, he refocused his attention on patients at his Orchards clinic, Ashbrook Medical Family Practice. He and wife Jeanine Jackson also own Ashbrook Aesthetics.
Like her father, Candice Jackson has been politically active for years. She interned for then-Congresswoman Linda Smith in Washington, D.C., in 1995 and worked on Smith’s re-election campaign in 1996. She also served as a legislative aide for state Senator Joe Zarelli in Olympia in 1998 and ’99.
Candice Jackson, 31, later put her political background to work in the literary realm, writing a book about the experiences of women who became romantically involved with former President Bill Clinton. “Their Lives: The Women Targeted by the Clinton Machine” was published by World Ahead Publishing in 2005. World Ahead Publishing was a Los Angeles-based conservative publisher acquired by WorldNetDaily in 2008.
Candice Jackson appeared on “Fox & Friends” to publicize her book when it came out, and her parents accompanied her. She was able to return the favor recently, traveling with her father for his performance on the show, which aired Nov. 23.
“That was really exciting. A lot of people do what they can to speak out, but not everybody is given the opportunity to be heard on a national level, so I was really proud to come out and support him,” Candice Jackson said.
While Rick Jackson has performed local benefit concerts with his sons before, the “Fox & Friends” taping was an entirely new experience.
“It’s kind of different when you’re not doing it a lot and then boom, you have an audience that’s that big. It was a little intimidating, but I really did have fun,” he said.
Jackson gave “Freedom, Family and Faith” a new sound with the recently released southern-rock version of the song. He’d like to do more recording, both covers and original material, but stresses that the cause behind “Freedom, Family and Faith” is the priority over his own music career.
“If this is the only thing we ever did, and it helped stir the debate and move things along, then that’s fine,” he said.
Mary Ann Albright: firstname.lastname@example.org, 360-735-4507.