Why Tim McGraw Only Wrote Seven of His 206 Songs

"I Always Put the Song First," He Explains

Ever since Tim McGraw released his first album in 1993 — his self-titled debut — he’s been known around Nashville as one of the best song pickers in country music. Meaning, he may not write his own songs, but he’s damn good at making the songs he does record sound like he did.

And his latest No. 1 song “I Called Mama” is just another perfect example of that. It was written by Marv Green, Jimmy Yeary and Lance Miller, who goes way, way back with McGraw. He opened for him during his 2007 Bread & Water post-show shows.

“Lance Miller, one of the writers on it, is a great friend of mine. And people ask me, did I write it? Those that know me know that I write, but I rarely cut stuff that I write. If I write something, I’m pretty hard on it. I write for every album, but I always put the song first,” McGraw explained in a recent radio interview. “I mean, the song’s gotta win and that’s just the way I am. And mine’s gonna have to really just scratch my eyeballs out to make me cut it, cause I’m so hard on myself with it.”

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