No. 1 In The Charts, And Our Hearts

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No. 1 In The Charts, And Our Hearts


People Feature Entertainment Music

No. 1 In The Charts, And Our Hearts

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People Feature Entertainment Music

No. 1 In The Charts, And Our Hearts

No. 1 In The Charts, And Our Hearts

People Feature Entertainment Music

No. 1 In The Charts, And Our Hearts

Published By: By Katerina Cotroneo   •   October 5, 2023

No. 1 In The Charts, And Our Hearts

Published By:
By Katerina Cotroneo By Katerina Cotroneo
October 5, 2023

People Feature Entertainment Music


Austin’s Golden Boy is a Texas boy through and through.
PHOTO COURTESY O OF LUCCHESE
PHOTO BY GUSTAV SCHMIEGE III

Whether singing his widely loved tunes throughout the country as the “road warrior” he is or at home relaxing on his boat with his family, Parker McCollum is every bit as Texan as the rest of us. I could hear the truck door slam and the boots crunch dry grass on the other side of the line as he described how much he loves to be out on the ranch and hunt just like the rest of his Southern peers.

McCollum started his career out here in Austin from open mics to playing local favorites like Poodies, Saxon Pub and The Continental Club, and his talent was quickly discovered after playing to Austinites. And, yes, the rumor is true: “Hell of a Year” was indeed written in the drive-thru of a Whataburger—the melody, at least—the one off William Cannon and 35, for all my locals, as McCollum lived there on the Eastside. He was waiting in the drive-thru one night, as he often did, for his bacon burger with no tomato, large fry and a large Coke, and the song’s melody came to him. He finished the whole thing the next day, and the rest is history.

PHOTO BY JIM WRIGHT
PHOTO BY JIM WRIGHT

“So many people every night—I’m never prepared for it—they look me right in the eye and say these songs help [them]. What more can you ask for as a songwriter?”

McCollum, when asked what’s next for him, sighed in contentment and said, “I’d like to take it the Strait way,” though he recognizes there is only ONE. Not a bad idea considering George Strait is one of the most popular country stars worth a heck of a lot. McCollum said, “It’s about being an idea to folks that I never changed who I am because I don’t plan on it.” The longevity also sparks McCollum’s goal aspirations. In a challenging career, he wants to carry himself well and not lose who he is in the long run. McCollum’s passion exudes in his voice; he is a vivacious performer but truly cares so much about the words he sings and the songwriting culture, which is a unique aspect these days.

PHOTO BY JIM WRIGHT
PHOTO BY JIM WRIGHT

“So many people every night_I’m never prepared for it_they look me right in the eye and say these songs help [them].
What more can you ask for as a songwriter?”

“It’s a great problem to have,” says the Gold Chain Cowboy when discussing the wide age range and vast diversity of his fandom. There is no limit to who will blast “Never Enough” on their speakers as it seems many people love his tunes that portray his thoughts like poetry. Th e great thing about having a humble and talented musician like McCollum, who is young and nowhere near done, means many more great albums to come.

McCollum lives on the outskirts of ATX, so he still frequents his go-to favorites: Uchiko, Eberly, Korman Fine Jewelry (never leaving empty-handed), Terry Black’s, Kerbey Lane and, yes, of course, Whataburger. Though these days, the singer-songwriter tries his best to opt for water instead of soda as he is trying to be as healthy as he can.


PHOTO COURTESY OF LUCCHESE BOOTMAKER
PHOTO BY GUSTAV SCHMIEGE III

“I got a tremendous, very genuine, rooted-in-my-childhood Mickey Mouse, Disney World love [for] country music; it’s still a fantasy to me. I hope that never goes away.”


PHOTO BY JIM WRIGHT
PHOTO BY JIM WRIGHT

His career is on the straight and narrow, going nowhere but up with a Lucchese boot collab, albums reaching the top charts and fans worldwide. McCollum is a Texas boy who reached for the stars and realized he was one. Referring to me as “ma’am” every time he spoke, McCollum, the Southern gentleman he is, said, “I got a tremendous, very genuine, rooted-in-my-childhood Mickey Mouse, Disney World love [for] country music; it’s still a fantasy to me. I hope that never goes away.” Us too, Parker, us too.

Photography by:

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