Luke Combs Relives Incredible Story of How ‘South on Ya’ Became SEC Football Anthem

by Clayton Edwards
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Back in July Luke Combs’ “South On Ya,” became the anthem of the SEC. It hypes every school in the conference as well as the region as a whole. However, Combs and the song took a long winding road to get it where it’s at today.

Combs talked about how “South On Ya,” went from something that he might not even use to a full-on football anthem on the latest episode of The Marty Smith Podcast.

Luke Combs On The Origins of ‘South On Ya’

Luke Combs said that he co-penned the song in 2018 with Dan Isbell and Jonathan Singleton. They were sitting on his bus in an Orange Beach, Alabama parking lot when the magic happened. Combs added that it was the night of the “Zion Williamson Shoe Game.” So, it was in February of 2019.

Luke Combs said that before they wrote the song, someone hit him up and said that ESPN was looking for a song for the SEC. He added, “I don’t know if that’s true at all. I’m glad that somebody said that or someone lied to me about that or something. Because here we are now.”

Luke Combs added that no one would have heard the song if it weren’t for Marty Smith. Otherwise, he said, “It would be sitting in my phone right now. It would be like ‘Remember that thing we did that was obviously a bunch of BS that no one ever heard about?’.”

Marty’s Side Of The Story

Then, Marty Smith gave his side of the story. He said that Luke Combs called him in 2019 and said, “I’ve got this song. I’m going to send it to you and I need you to listen to it. I want to get it on the SEC somehow.”

Marty listened to the song and his initial reaction was “Why isn’t this on the SEC?” So, he got to work on getting it there. He started talking to his bosses at ESPN about it. Finally, he ended up in meetings with ESPN’s music department. “Anytime that you get to that level, there’s all this red tape,” Smith said. However, he knew that it would be easy to cut through. He told them, “Listen, I know everybody involved in this. It can be worked out really easy.”

Not long after that, Luke Combs called him again and said, “Hey man, call off the dogs. I think I’m putting [“South on Ya”] on my record.” So, Marty did just that. However, Combs changed his mind again.

“Fast-forward to Thanksgiving 2020. That’s when this thing really got rolling,” Smith recalled. Combs texted him and said, “Hey, you need to talk to Harp and Cappie. We want to get this on the SEC.”

Marty concluded, “We had this big meeting and I was hell-bent and determined that we were going to do it. And we did it. So now, ‘South On Ya,’ is the anthem of the Southeastern Conference.”

Be sure to check out the full video podcast on Outsider’s YouTube to hear more about Luke Combs’ life, career, and personal philosophy.

Outsider.com