The Marty Smith Podcast: Randy Rogers Explains Why Performing with Willie Nelson and George Strait Was the Biggest Moment of His Career

by Chris Haney

Country music star Randy Rogers joined The Marty Smith Podcast this week as we took the show on the road for the interview in Austin, Texas. Host Marty Smith spoke to the lead singer of the Randy Rogers Band at length about his life and career in music. For someone that’s made a living recording and performing country music for two decades, he’s had some great experiences over the years. However, the highlight of his career came just a few months ago when he got the chance to share the stage with country legends Willie Nelson and George Strait.

As a native Texan who grew up just outside of the Dallas-Forth Worth area in Cleburne, Randy Rogers got into music at a very early age. By the time he was a young teenager playing the piano and guitar, he knew he wanted to be a country musician. Rogers wanted to follow in the footsteps of Texas country icons Willie Nelson and George Strait. Little did he know that one day he’d have the opportunity to perform with both of his idols.

In April, the city of Austin christened its newest arena, the Moody Center. The arena on the University of Texas’ campus had two special concerts to celebrate its grand opening. Nelson and Strait played the first-ever shows at the Moody Center, and they tapped the Randy Rogers Band to open up for them. For Rogers, it’s an understatement to call that two-concert gig a dream come true.

“I just don’t think you could’ve written that story,” Rogers recalls on The Marty Smith Podcast. “I grew up in Cleburne, and my parents did well, but we were middle class. You could not have predicted, you could not have told me at that young of an age that this was going to happen to me or it probably would’ve ruined my life. I would’ve keeled over. I wouldn’t have believed you could see that in my future.”

Randy Rogers Explains Why Performing with Willie and George Meant So Much to Him

Other than Robert Earl Keen later in life, no artist influenced Randy Rogers more than Willie and George. Getting to play alongside the two country music legends was the biggest single moment of Rogers’ career he shared. Earlier in the day, someone actually asked him about exactly that. What was his “moment” they asked? He answered, “Well, is it okay that my moment just happened a few months ago?”

“That’s so cool. Why was that the moment? Explain why that’s the moment,” the host of The Marty Smith Podcast asked Rogers.

“I don’t think any two artists influenced me more than Willie and George,” Rogers explained. “Talk about scouring over their records, listening to all their songs, figuring out who wrote the songs… And learning the songs on the guitar at a young age. Playing them at these opries, pretending to be them in the reflection of the TV as a mirror. I mean all that really happened.”

“So being with George on a sold out night when he’s honoring his idol, Willie. And they just tagged me along…it’s like the biggest thing you could ever have happen to you,” he added. “[Especially] being a kid from Johnson County chasing the country music dream when you were like 13.”

Make sure to check out Randy Rogers’ entire interview on The Marty Smith Podcast in the video above. You can also tune in to his full conversation on Spotify, Apple, or wherever else you listen to your favorite podcasts.