Parker McCollum remembers meeting his musical hero and dream duet partner, George Strait

Jeremy PolzelBetween his opening spot on Miranda Lambert’s Wildcard Tour and his single, “Pretty Heart,” Parker McCollum has been generating plenty of buzz over the past few months. 

In 2019, he signed to Universal Music Group’s MCA Nashville, and in a new interview with Billboard, the singer reveals that there was a special extra reason for him to choose that particular imprint: It also happened to be the longtime label of his hero, George Strait.

“That was a big reason, and part of the reason I signed there, especially on MCA,” he admits. 

Parker says he can trace the King of Country’s influence on his music back to childhood, when he listened to “Amarillo By Morning” in his grandfather’s truck. Flash forward a couple of decades, and the young singer got to meet his icon backstage at an all-star tribute concert to Loretta Lynn in Nashville. 

“He said, ‘Hey Parker, you’re killing it,’ and then he walked on stage and sang ‘Amarillo By Morning’ all in one motion,” he remembers. “That is still, to this day, one of my favorite songs, favorite melodies of all time.”

John Mayer is another massive influence of Parker’s, but the rising star says that if he had to pick a dream duet partner, he’d pick George.

“I don’t know if John Mayer would dig my stuff. I feel like George would dig it before John Mayer,” he explains. “I’ve ripped him off so many times. I’ve stolen some of his and George Strait’s mannerisms on stage, guitar playing, all of it.”

That’s due to the simple fact that George and John are such incredible songwriters, he adds.

“I’m just extremely influenced by really, really good songs,” Parker points out. “The level of which they get to me, it’s surprising still to this day.”

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