Do You Know Who Originally Wrote + Performed Amarillo By Morning?
Recently we highlighted some of the lesser known songs inspired by Yellow City. Now we set our sights on one of the songs most associated with Amarillo, and surprise, it wasn't written by King George.
In fact, he wasn't even the first to record it. To get to the bottom of who really gave life to this iconic Amarillo tune, you have to go back to 1973. That's when you'll come across a guy named Terry Stafford.
Terry Stafford supposedly wrote the song one night after performing at a rodeo in San Antonio. It's easy to understand how this served as the inspiration, because he drove back to his home...in Amarillo. He co-wrote it with Paul Fraser.
He released it on his album Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose. Apparently everything is bigger in Texas, including album titles.
'Amarillo By Morning' was released as a single and did fairly well for Stafford. A decade after it was recorded, it would become the iconic hit we all know it to be.
In 1982, George Strait would include 'Amarillo By Morning' on his album, Strait From The Heart. In early 1983, it would shoot up the charts and become one of King George's more iconic songs.
The song has become synonymous with rodeos, and is usually one of the first things that someone from out of town brings up when they find out you live in Amarillo. They chuckle. Amarilloians roll their eyes.
As a little side note, what is arguably the most iconic song about Amarillo also has a version done by legendary country artist and rodeo champion, Chris LeDoux. In fact, Chris' version was done in 1975, a full 8 years before George Strait would send it up the charts.