The song Amarillo By Morning is one of country music's all time recognizable songs and it certainly helped launch George Strait's career. George never has written his own music and this particular song was around long before he cut it. The song was written by primarily by Terry Stafford though Paul Fraser is credited as well. Here is an interesting link to an obituary about Terry Stafford who was an Amarillo boy. In my humble opine, both Terry's 1973 version and rodeo champion turned singer, Chris Ledoux's, are better and sang with more feeling than George's so if you get a chance check them out.
But if you live on the other side of the Atlantic this might be the song you most associate with Amarillo.
Is This the Way to Amarillo was written by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield, but was popularized in Europe by Tony Christie. Amarillo was chosen as the title city because Sedaka couldn't think of any other city name that rhymed with the words willow and pillow.
The following comes from this wikipedia article ...
The song was recorded by Tony Christie and released in the UK in November 1971, initially reaching number 18 in the UK Singles Chart. However, it was a substantially bigger hit at that time across Continental Europe, notably in Germany and Spain where it made number one. In Germany, the song's chorus is widely adapted as a chant by football and hockey fans even today. Following its re-issue in 2005 - when it reached number one in the UK - the song gained even greater popularity. In 2006 it was played at the World Cup Final in Berlin and was also played by The Central Band of the Royal British Legion on Centre Court at Wimbledon before the start of the Men's Singles final.
To be honest I never heard this song until it was rereleased in England in 2005 for some kind of comic relief benefit. I ahve also seen a video of a bunch of British soldiers dancing to the song. Maybe DebbieLou, Lyzzydee, Stephen Parrish, or the globe-hopping Alex Keto can vouch for the European popularity, but I can promise most people in Amarillo know very little if anything about this song. Though I find it quite catchy it is not my favorite song about Amarillo.
This is ...
Not only is Amarillo Highway my favorite song about Amarillo, but Robert Earl Keen is my favorite songwriter, though he did not write this little ditty. Terry Allen did though his version is a bit slow paced in my opinion. Nothing goes with this song like a six pack of Shiner Bock and the company of good friends.
For those of you not from The Texas Panhandle Plainview, Idalou, and New Deal are town names from the area. This song makes me think of warm summer nights, cold beer, and outdoor concerts. I have seen Robert Earl perform it many times live and it never fails to make me tap along and sing off key as I drive.
There are many more songs that include Amarillo in the lyrics and I'll get to a few in future My Town Mondays. My hometown is also the birthplace or hometown to some talented songwriters which I'll also discuss in later editions but next week I think I'll talk about food and how living here has made me a beef man through and through.
So tell me which of these three songs is your favorite? Or do you have another tune that you like that mentions Amarillo? I'm betting Ol' George wins out, but don't worry I won't hold that against you.
Links to other My Town Monday participants can be found below as they are posted. If you plan to participate drop a line in the comments to let me know.
Shauna Roberts introduces us to Riverside California and the mother tree.
Lana Gramlich takes us on a stroll through Abita Springs, Louisiana's historical district.
Patti Abbott talks about the original Borders bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan and the state of book buying today.
DebbieLou gives us a fascinating post about Bishops Stortford, England that isn't a bit corny despite being all about corn.
Barrie Summy tickles your appetite and the ivories at a San Diego joint made famous by the movie Top Gun.
Stephen Parrish hoops it up about his former town Louisville, Kentucky.
Claire Dickinson introduces us to Livingston County, Michigan.
Lois Karlin from Women of Mystery relays how hard it is to focus and write during springtime in rural New York.
Josephine Damian gets Jakey with a post about New Rochelle, New York's founding father.
Ello gives us a bit of history on the Georgetown area of Washington D.C.
Anti-Wife gives us a picture from her formative years in Peoria, Illinois.
WordVixen offers up a mouth watering post about the Coffee Co. in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Britta Coleman's post on Fort Worth, Texas goes to the dogs this week.
Jason Scott Adams, my childhood best friend introduces us to his town Sugar Creek, Missouri.