Country radio may not play them, but Whitey Morgan and the 78’s are finding their way to the people nonetheless. It’s always fun to witness a cool convergence of sports and music, and to find out who is listening to what. The Turnpike Troubadours owe some of the popularity of their song “Long Hot Summer Day” to baseball player Matt Carpenter who took it all the way to the World Series, and it should be no surprise there’s a mess of NASCAR drivers that are into country music, from the Bro-Country crap to the real stuff. But crossing the finish line and coming in first for the coolest taste in music on the circuit has to be Kyle Larson.
NASCAR has many traditions, and one of them is the musical introductions at the popular Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee. According to the list of driver intro songs for Sunday’s (8-21) race in Bristol (postponed due to rain on Saturday night), Kyle Larson’s intro music is Whitey Morgan and the 78’s “Another Round.”
According to NASCAR, “A big part of every Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is driver intros, where each driver gets to pick a song of his or her choice to walk out to. It gives drivers a chance to show off their musical tastes, flex their comedic muscle and, yes, sometimes even send a message.”
Kyle Larson’s message is loud and clear: the world needs more Whitey Morgan and the 78’s.
Even more interesting, this weekend’s race is the second of two annual NASCAR races at Bristol, and at the previous race on April 17th, Kyle Larson was introduced via Chris Stapleton’s “Outlaw State of Mind.” Good taste in music, indeed. And don’t diminish the importance the Bristol fans take in Shazaming and sleuthing out what song each driver is introduced to.
One interesting footnote though, whomever is putting together NASCAR’s official master list of driver introductions in Bristol may be having “Another Round” too many. Whitey Morgan and the 78’s are misspelled “Whitney Morgan and the 78’s.” But that’s not half as bad as Eric Church, who is misspelled as “Erica Church” on the same list along with some other humorous typos. Either way, hopefully it’s an opportunity for Whitey and the boys to be exposed to a few more folks.
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Footnote: To many, Bristol, Tennessee is considered the true birthplace of country music. Ralph Peer’s Bristol Sessions in 1927, recording The Carter Family and others resulted in the “big bang” for country music becoming a legitimate art form and a commercial enterprise.