See a Rare Clip of George Strait’s ‘Amarillo By Morning’ on Austin City Limits

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George Strait took “Amarillo By Morning” and grabbed it by the horns, ten years after Terry Stafford first wrote the song. But it was Strait who ended up making a big hit out of the song.

Suffice it to say, it’s basically the only rendition we remember now, and this live 1984 ACL taping shows just how far the legendary Texas singer has come in the years since it became one of his most memorable songs. The classic country tune became one of the Top 100 Western Songs of All Time, as established by the savants over at the Western Writers of America.

Strait’s voice back in ’84 was just starting to find its way around the world, and you can see the fans at the live Austin audience swoon with an almost newfound admiration. Of course, Strait would go on to dethrone Conway Twitty as the best-selling country music performer of all time, but back in ’84 he was still a pretty raw talent.

The simple arrangements and easy chorus of “Amarillo By Morning” make it all that much more enjoyable in today’s world of complex subject matter and pop-style country music.

It might just be this legend in the making’s most inspiring classic.