'Callin' Baton Rouge' is Garth's favorite, too
NEW ORLEANS - Garth Brooks may be playing in New Orleans, but Baton Rouge is the Louisiana city close to his heart. He's in Louisiana this weekend for the first time in about two decades. His first of four sold-out shows with wife, Trisha Yearwood, played out Friday night in New Orleans at the Smoothie King Center. Prior to Brooks taking the stage, he spoke about his song, "Callin' Baton Rouge."
"When people say what's your favorite song to perform? Baton Rouge is it," said Brooks. "There's something that happens with the crowd."
It's a favorite of thousands of fans, too. The song "Callin' Baton Rouge" is played prior to LSU football games in Tiger Stadium. It's been that way for as long as the Voice of Tiger Stadium can remember.
"I don't know how it came to be," said Dan Borne. "It's an instant shot of electricity when that song begins."
Some say, the tradition in Tiger Stadium dates back to Head Coach Les Miles' first year at LSU. Miles can often be seen singing along and tapping his foot to the music.
Brooks and Yearwood say they're excited to be back to continue the journey that began many years before and to sing that song that so many people get goose bumps listening to.
"I could do it three or four times a night," Brooks said. "Great, great, great song."
Just like that journey, "Callin' Baton Rouge" has a long history to go along with it. The original song writer was Dennis Linde and it was originally recorded by The Oak Ridge Boys in 1978 and later by The New Grass Revival in 1989. A group that Brooks is a big fan of.
"When we heard Baton Rouge, we couldn't believe it and it didn't do that well for them, which was, wow," he said. "When I heard it, we were just starting out on the road, just signed our deal with Capitol (Records). I said if I ever get a chance I want to cut that song, that's an awesome song."
The song debuted on Brooks' 1993 album In Pieces.
Brooks says he knows what happens in Tiger Stadium, he's seen it on YouTube, and says it's a sweet feeling.
"You go to places and you see they have this tradition of this song and you say, man I wish that was my song," he said. "Here comes Baton Rouge, it's a staple in a college lifestyle, it doesn't get better than that."
Brooks last played on LSU's campus in 1993 at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center where he played a sold-out three night stop.
When asked if he'll ever make it back to Baton Rouge to sing that song at Tiger Stadium, he left the door open.
"I don't know, I mean, you never know where we're going on this thing," said Brooks. "I gotta tell ya, I'm really excited about playing this thing (New Orleans) because I think a lot of people from there are gonna come down here, I think when you mix the two, it's gonna be fantastic."