Peyton Manning is a well-known country music fan.
A Hall of Fame quarterback, Super Bowl champ, and BIG country music guy.
On an episode of Bootleggers Radio (2021) Luke Combs sat down with Peyton to talk all things football, country music, Red Rocks, and more, but they also got into two of Peyton’s favorite artists, both huge parts of his personal country music journey.
Two of my favorites as well… Eric Church and George Strait.
On Eric Church:
“Eric’s a guy I’ve gotten to know these past few years, and I think my appreciation for his music has grown even more with hearing his story, and hearing how he got started in the industry, and the time and the work that he puts in, and ideas for songs.
I mean, to me, it’s the process. Right? You’re always hearing Nick Saban, at Alabama, talking about the process. That’s all that goes into what happens on Saturday. afternoon.
It’s no different for you guys, all the work behind the scenes. He’s a grinder. He loves it. He loves everything about it. He’s great in concert, in person, heard him at Red Rocks, heard him at The Pepsi Center here in Denver, and a great live performer.
One of my best friends played baseball here for the Rockies, Todd Helton, wore number 17, so I used to go see a lot of Rockies games, and that was Helton’s walk up song, right, because of Springsteen.”
Of course, who could forget Peyton ripping shots of Jack backstage with Eric and Michael Phelps… in the middle of the show.
But before Chief came along, back when Peyton was headed to Knoxville to play football at the University of Tennessee, Peyton was bumpin’ to a different country artist… George Strait.
Growing up in New Orleans, country wasn’t exactly a staple, but when he got to college, everything changed:
“Growing up in New Orleans, obviously a great music town, but was probably more in a lot of my parents’ oldies music, their Elvis records and Beatles records that were laying around the house. And playing sports always kind of busy, just didn’t really have one sort of genre of music that I was into. All of a sudden, I go to college in Knoxville, University of Tennessee, and it is country music everywhere you go.
And I just got hooked on it right away, and George Strait was one of the first artists just started listening to. And during my time in college, he put out a lot of great songs, ‘Carrying Your Love With Me’ was one that came out like, I don’t know, 1996 seems like. But ‘Amarillo by Morning’ was just one that you always played on the CD player, you played it on repeat a lot, right?
I mean, the sign of a good song is when you can put it on repeat and just keep playing it over and over again. And got to see George in concert in Knoxville, he came and played Thompson Boling Arena, got to meet him, I want to call it 1995. That was a real thrill and he and I’ve established a friendship since then. So couldn’t pick a top 10 without putting a George Strait song, and ‘Amarillo by Morning’ is my favorite.”
Anybody that can crank up some “Amarillo By Morning” on repeat is ok in my book.
And while Peyton is fans of Eric and George, he’s also been known to hang out with Kenny Chesney pretty often (Kenny even sang at his wedding), as well as Jake Owen, and others.