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Scotty McCreery’s “Strawberry Wine” Brought Southern Twang at CMA Fest

Scotty McCreery "Strawberry Wine" Cover
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Scotty McCreery’s “Strawberry Wine” was one of the highlights during the CMA Summer Stay-Cay event last July 1.

Do you remember how Scotty McCreery sang his way straight into the hearts of many country fans when he appeared on the tenth season of American Idol? His deep voice and country boy charm won so many people over that they sent their votes flying in for him. Those votes were enough to push McCreery into the finale, where he was eventually crowned as the season’s winner. 

Ever since winning Idol, McCreery has made his mark on country music. Now the Idol is here to impress once more with his sweet rendition of “Strawberry Wine” for the CMA Summer Stay-Cay event last July 1. 

Scotty McCreery Gave “Strawberry Wine” A Southern Twang

Due to the current world situation, the 2020 CMA Fest was sadly canceled. Luckily, CMA still found a way to entertain fans with our favorite country music. Rather than hosting a live festival in Nashville this year, CMA had a virtual “festival” called CMA Summer Stay-Cay. Country fans got to enjoy watching their favorite artists perform during a live stream on the CMA’s official YouTube channel.

The odes to 90s country kept coming throughout the night, especially when Scotty McCreery pulled an absolute gem out of his bag of songs. “I’m excited to be a part of this,” McCreery boasted as he introduced his performance. “I get the pleasure of singing one of my favorite songs, it’s one of the biggest in ’90s history and in Country music history.”

Comfortable at home with his acoustic guitar and the plaques for his No. 1 hit singles “This Is It” and “Five More Minutes” adorning the wall in the background, McCreery brought his deep trademark voice and Southern twang to Deana Carter‘s “Strawberry Wine.” He gave a bit of ruggedness to the serene song that sings about a life-changing summer of first loves, loss of innocence, and thriving into adulthood.

“Like strawberry wine, and seventeen. The hot July moon saw everything. My first taste of love. Oh bittersweet. Green on the vine, like strawberry wine,” McCreery croons, hoping fans watching at home are “staying safe, staying healthy.”

Like First Love, Strawberry Wine is Sweet and Intoxicating

 “Strawberry Wine” was Carter’s debut single released in 1996. The track appeared on Carter’s debut album, Did I Shave My Legs For This? It peaked No. 1 hit on both the US Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) Chart and the Canadian RPM Country Tracks. It even crossed over to claim the 65th position on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart.

RELATED: Here’s How “Strawberry Wine” Launched Deana Carter to Stardom

Written by Gary Harrison and Matraca Berg, the song earned Song of the Year at the 1997 CMA Awards and was chosen as Song of the Year by the Nashville Songwriters Association International. “Strawberry Wine” also earned nominations from the Grammy Awards and the ACM Awards.

“I just wrote the title down, “Strawberry Wine,” because Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill — that’s what all the teenagers used to sneak off and drink and get sick on,” Berg recalled. “I wasn’t sure what it meant. I’m the kind of writer — I kind of need music to figure stuff out. I usually don’t come up with the words first; I’ll have a title, and the music will tell me what it’s about.”

But when she finally figured it all out, she told Gary this story, and the strawberry wine became the perfect metaphor for the song. The wine, like the first love, is sweet and intoxicating. “We wrote it quickly, in about three or four hours,” Berg said. “We really liked it, but we thought nobody else probably would.” The song made the rounds for a little while, but everybody passed on it, including country star Trisha Yearwood, until Deana Carter heard it.

Watch Scotty McCreery bring the twang to this Deana Carter 90’s classic.

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