Amarillo by Morning (song)

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"Amarillo by Morning"
Single by Terry Stafford
from the album Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose
B-side "Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose"
Released 1973
Format 7" (45 rpm)
Genre Country
Length 2:28
Label Atlantic
Writer(s) Paul Fraser
Terry Stafford
Producer(s) Blake Mevis
Terry Stafford singles chronology
"Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose"
"Amarillo by Morning"

"Amarillo by Morning" is a country music song written by Terry Stafford and Paul Fraser, and recorded by Stafford in 1973. Several cover versions have since been made, including a major 1983 hit for George Strait.

Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.[1]


Stafford conceived the song after playing with his band at a rodeo in San Antonio, Texas, and then driving back to his home in Amarillo, Texas.[2][3]


Stafford recorded the song on his Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose album, released in 1973.[4][5] The single was released August 2, 1973, by Atlantic Records with the Master number 26867. The single "Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose" had been previously released as an A-side 45 (Atlantic Master 26868; June 7, 1973), but due to the success of "Amarillo by Morning", the single was re-released October 4, 1973, as the A-side (Atlantic Master 26867-1 stereo and Atlantic Master 26867-2 mono), with "Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose" on the B-side.[6] The song entered the Cash Box Country Looking Ahead chart November 3, 1973, the Cash Box Country chart on December 15, 1973, peaking at #37, the Billboard Country chart December 1, 1973, peaking at #31, the Record World Country chart December 15, 1973, peaking at #50, and Canada RPM Country chart January 26, 1974, peaking at #38.[5]

The song has been covered by numerous artists, including rodeo champion Chris LeDoux in 1975 on his album Life as a Rodeo Man, Asleep at the Wheel and John Arthur Martinez on his 2004 album Lone Starry Night. Brazilian singer Zé Ramalho has also recorded the song.

George Strait version[edit]

"Amarillo by Morning"
Single by George Strait
from the album Strait from the Heart
B-side "Lover in Disguise"
Released January 14, 1983
Format 7" 45 RPM
Recorded April 13, 1982
Genre Country
Length 2:52
Label MCA 52162
Writer(s) Paul Fraser
Terry Stafford
Producer(s) Blake Mevis
George Strait singles chronology
"Marina del Rey"
"Amarillo by Morning"
"A Fire I Can't Put Out"

It was covered in 1983 by George Strait. It appeared on Strait's 1982 album Strait from the Heart (LP MCA 5320). It was released on MCA as a single, release number 52162. The publisher's release was January 14, 1983, and the full release came February 16, 1983. The single entered the Billboard Country chart February 12, 1983, peaking at #4.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

Kevin John Coyne of Country Universe gave the song an A grade, saying that he has "finally found his niche as a performer." He goes on to say that the "simple arrangement and understated delivery are the defining elements of just about every Strait record since."[8]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1983) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[9] 4
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Preceded by
"Dixieland Delight"
by Alabama
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

April 30, 1983
Succeeded by
"Whatever Happened to Old-Fashioned Love"
by B. J. Thomas


The song is regularly played at rodeos.[7] The song was named "#12 country song of all-time" by Country Music Television.[10][11] Development Counsellors International and USA Today named the song one of the top ten songs about a place, number 7.[2][12]


  1. ^ Western Writers of America (2010). "The Top 100 Western Songs". American Cowboy. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Albright, Max. "Amarillo, A Place to Sing About". Amarillo Globe-News. September 17, 2003
  3. ^ Moser, Margaret. "The Top Texas 40: Ranking the Lone Star State in song" - Austin Chronicle - November 28, 2003
  4. ^ Stafford, Terry, and the Nashville Edition. Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose. New York, New York: Atlantic Records. 1973. SD 7282. OCLC 26762481
  5. ^ a b "Terry Stafford Suspicion! Home Page". Retrieved 2016-10-08. 
  6. ^ Cash Box - November 17, 1973
  7. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "Retro Single Review: George Strait, "Amarillo By Morning" – Country Universe". 2011-08-02. Retrieved 2016-10-08. 
  9. ^ "George Strait – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for George Strait.
  10. ^ Flippo, Chet, and Country Music Television Network. CMT 100 Greatest Songs of Country Music. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Hal Leonard. 2004. ISBN 0-634-06352-9
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-08-28. Retrieved 2007-06-02. 
  12. ^ "'New York' tops place songs". 2003-09-15. Retrieved 2016-10-08.