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THE SOUNDS OF GAME DAY: Bowlin's guide to the perfect Tennessee tailgating playlist

By: Dallas Bowlin

Senior Staff Writer, Junior Editor, Content Manager, Co-Host

The All Vol Call in Show


The Vol Navy | Photo | Rocky Top Talk

We all do game day differently, whether it's tailgating at the G-10 parking garage, floating down the Tennessee River, or grilling out on the porch. But there is one thing we all have in common: music. And if your game day playlist could use some new blood, then you’ve clicked on the right article.

Judah & The Lion: Sweet Tennessee

Released by the alternative folk band “Judah & The Lion” out of Nashville in 2013, this one is just easy on the ears. That classic Appalachian folk sound fits the lyrics perfectly. One line in the song will resonate with fans pretty well as they sing: “Sweet Tennessee, ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ I’ll never sing.

Ronnie Milsap: Smoky Mountain Rain

Milsap released “Smoky Mountain Rain” in the year 1980. The song is about a man searching for a lost love, but mentions Tennessee multiple times, including the opening line:” I thumbed my way from LA back to Knoxville.” This is one that every time it comes on, you'll want to turn it up.

Dolly Parton: My Tennessee Mountain Home

You can’t make a list of songs about Tennessee without including Queen Dolly. Released in 1973 “My Tennessee Mountain Home” is one that if you close your eyes while listening, you can just envision a cabin in the hills of Tennessee. Parton sings: “In my Tennessee mountain home, life is as peaceful as a baby’s sigh.” If that doesn’t put you in a good mood, seek a medical professional.

Kenny Chesney: Touchdown Tennessee

I know the public opinion of Chesney is pretty split down the middle, but there is no denying the powerful nostalgia this song would bring to a young man growing up listening to John Ward on the radio. Released in 1998 Chesney sings: “ We heard 20,15,10, and five your voice was our eyes and we could see touchdown Tennessee.”

Mel Street: Smoky Mountain Memories

Released in 1975, this is one I always find myself coming back to. “Yesterday keeps calling me, calling me home. Mountains rising in my soul higher than the dreams I've known…” As someone currently living in Kentucky, this verse always makes me dream of being able to pack up and move south to Rocky Top.

Thomas Edwards: Running Through The T

The most recent song on this list, released on July 19th, 2023, by former Tennessee football player Thomas Edwards, is sure to tug at the heartstrings of any young boy who grew up wishing he too could one day run through the T. This one, as well as the other ones, is definitely perfect for your gameday playlist.


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