Tim McGraw: Still Just Trying to Be Elvis

The King Was His First Inspiration

You think you know a guy.

I thought I knew every musician who’d ever influenced Tim McGraw until I ran across this Instagram post from Southwest: The Magazine. It’s about a year old, but that doesn’t change the fact that I now have the image stuck in my head of McGraw as a 6-year-old with a flower in his shirt.

“Growing up, I could sing every Elvis song. In first or second grade, I’d wrap a scarf around my neck, put a big hibiscus flower in my shirt pocket, and perform Live From Hawaii,” McGraw told the magazine when they asked who his first inspiration was.

Then he told the sad, sad story about missing one of the King’s last shows.

“He came through Monroe, Louisiana, on one of his last tours, and my mom was going to take me, but I got mumps. When she was getting ready for the show, I was lying on the floor kicking and screaming because I couldn’t go,” he recalled.

McGraw added that he thinks that every artist puts a bit of the King into every performance.

“We’re all just trying to be Elvis, aren’t we?” McGraw asked.

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