Dressed in white and a black cowboy hat, Kenny Chesney approached the stage in a relaxed mood. This stage appearance stage isn’t meant for a performance of any of his great songs that we’ve come to love. Instead, to delight the fans with a classic hit from no other than The King of Country, George Strait. The moment he starts singing, the audience can’t help but feel excited. Well, that’s Kenny Chesney! And with his signature singing style and great vocals, who wouldn’t be thrilled? This is not to mention that he’s performing live “Amarillo by Morning,” the song that boosted Strait’s fame in country music.
In this performance, it’s apparent how much emotions Chesney’s giving to every line of the song as he sings. At the same time, you can’t see him exaggerating nor trying to outdo Strait’s recording. In fact, he’s enjoying on stage. At the closing of his performance, before leaving the stage, he paid respect to The King of Country with the following words,
“We love you, George Strait!”
Watch Chesney’s full performance below.
Some Facts of the Song
The late Terry Stafford, himself a country icon, originally recorded “Amarillo by Morning” in 1973. He was also the man behind the song’s text with the help of songwriter, Paul Fraser. Stafford conceived the song while on his way back home to Amarillo, Texas after performing with his band at a rodeo in San Antonio. Hence, the song’s title. While Stafford was supposed to be celebrating as he came from a festive event, it’s quite ironic that the song he came up with exudes lamentation. It features a rodeo cowboy narrating his life on the road and his melancholic fate as made evident by this line,
I lost a wife and a girlfriend somewhere along the way.
George Strait’s Cover
It was in 1983 when Strait released his cover of the song on his album Strait from the Heart. Although it did not reach the top of Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, peaking only at No. 4, it became a signature hit of his since then.
In 1975, two years after the song debuted, the rodeo champion and country singer Chris LeDoux made his own version of it. As it was considered a rodeo ballad, the song has been regularly played at rodeos. CMT named “Amarillo by Morning” as the 12th best country song of all time. In addition, USA Today and Development Counsellors International ranked it No. 7 on the Top 10 songs about a place.
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Amarillo by Morning, Chris LeDoux, George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Paul Fraser, Terry Stafford