OFFSTAGE: Tim McGraw: “By God, That’s Country”

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Tim McGraw started his country music education when was only 5. His stepdad drove an 18-wheeler, and one summer, McGraw went with him to haul cotton seed. Along the way, they listened to eight-tracks of Merle Haggard, Johnny Paycheck, George Jones and Merle Travis. “By God, that’s country,” he says about that early music lesson. McGraw talks about growing up country in a video interview promoting his new JBL headphones. He also talks about being a stickler about how he wants his fans to hear his music. And about sitting down with a pen and paper and coming up with ideas. And about how country music was always part of his musical diet growing up in Louisiana. McGraw adds that he knows all the Beach Boys and Jan & Dean songs from those early days. Why he doesn’t cover a few of those in his live shows is beyond me. Wouldn’t it be nice to hear him on “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”?

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.