Two of Country’s biggest names, George Strait and Alan Jackson, joined for a duet of Larry Cordle and Larry Shell’s “Murder on Music Row.” And it wasn’t just an immaculate collaboration and an iconic moment in country music history.
The Iconic Performance
“Murder on Music Row” was first recorded by the bluegrass group Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time as the title track for their same-titled album. The controversial song questioned the authenticity of country music when country-pop was taking over the genre, singing, “But someone killed country music, cut out its heart and soul. They got away with murder down on music row.” It even mentioned Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, and George Jones by their nicknames, saying that traditionalists like them wouldn’t stand a chance in this new time.
George Strait and Alan Jackson covered the song and didn’t do a simple recording for an album. That came after the fact. Instead, they made a bold yet iconic move and performed it straight at the 33rd Annual Country Music Association Awards.
After that, they recorded the song for Strait’s 2000 Latest Greatest Straitest Hits. Its studio version wasn’t released officially, but it still earned a charting position in the country chart. Fourteen years later, Strait dropped a live version of the song recorded from the final performance of his last tour, “The Cowboy Rides Away Tour,” held in Arlington, Texas, with a record-making 104,793 people in attendance.
And even though a decade-and-a-half had passed since they first performed the song, it was still as iconic. They poured their hearts out, cowboy-style.
Strait opened the song, singing the first verse, and Jackson took over the second. Then, they swept everyone with their duet in the chorus. Strait then covered the third verse before they duetted again in the final chorus and the outro. But this time, they were more laidback. They had the best time on stage with the hundred thousand fans who joined them.
If you’re a big fan of traditional country music, this song will fit you just right. Watch George Strait and Alan Jackson’s live performance of “Murder on Music Row” below.
Alan Jackson, George Strait