Tim McGraw Speaks on How Country Music’s ‘Uniquely American’ Roots Connect to ‘1883’

Tim McGraw is more than a one-trick pony. The country music star took a lead role in 1883 for millions of viewers to watch and enjoy. That single season of the Dutton origin story gave a look at how the family ended up in Montana, to begin with. When it came to making the decision to be on the show, McGraw just had one thing on his mind – don’t embarrass country music.

Alongside his real-life wife, Faith Hill, McGraw embarked on a journey through the Oregon Trail as James Dutton. Of course, Hill played the part of Margaret Dutton, his wife. But, they never felt out of water.

That’s because, like Tim McGraw told The Hollywood Reporter, country music is “uniquely American” and so is the story of 1883.

“Country music originated with Irish and Eastern European immigrants, and you hear a little bit of that in the show when some of the immigrants are playing music,” McGraw explained. “I did think about how country music is sort of uniquely American. Its roots come from everyday people living everyday lives and the struggles and toil that they’ve gone through.

“Also, we’re jumping into this world, creating these characters, and we are known for being country music singers and part of that community. There’s a part of me that didn’t want to let anybody in our industry down. I didn’t want friends to think, ‘Oh man, you were a good country singer until you went and did this show,’” he explained, laughing.

I’m gonna do the part that LaMonica Garrett would usually do here, but country music also came from freed slaves, men and women with stories like Thomas in 1883. A culmination of all the best parts America has to offer, making up this beautiful genre we call country.

Tim McGraw Wouldn’t Stop Singing on Set of ‘1883’

When you put a country music singer into a role like a pioneer on the Oregon Trail – well, it might get them in a mood to sing. That’s what Tim McGraw did on set of 1883 and it might have just about driven his castmates insane. He’s got a wonderful voice, but the singing, humming, and I’m sure whistling must have been a little annoying for the sound folks.

“I’m sort of a jukebox when it comes to old country songs or old pop, or 70s rock songs, so I was probably walking around singing way more than I should have,” McGraw admitted. “I’m sure that the sound guys were shooshing me more than I realized.”

So, look, who is going to tell Tim McGraw to stop singing? No one in their right damn mind, that’s who. If he wants to sing, then he’s going to sing and I’m not sure that’s the worst thing in the world.

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