Back in 2004, Tim McGraw scored a big hit with his song “Live Like You Were Dying.” The recording of that song, just one month after his father died, is one of McGraw’s most special memories “of making music anywhere.”
Tim shared on his Apple show when he was interviewing Matthew McConaughey, “‘Live Like You Were Dying’ was one of those songs that came at a very traumatic time in my life. It showed up and was sent to me in the middle of my father’s diagnosis of glioblastoma brain cancer and going through all of his treatments.”
He added, “He stayed at my cabin out at the farm, and we were spending a lot of nights out there with my uncle and my brother just hanging out, listening to music, and watching football games. We spent a couple of weeks there before he passed away in the bedroom there in the cabin.”
Tug McGraw died on January 5, 2004, and Tim released “Live Like You Were Dying” the following June 7 as the first single from his album of the same name.
McGraw admits that recording the track was very emotional for him and his family saying, “My Uncle Hank was there, my dad’s older brother, and we had been recording all day. And about three o’clock in the morning, I looked around at the band. I said, ‘I think it’s time to do this song.’ We spent the next three hours up until sunup recording this song, and my uncle collapsed on a couch crying every time we did a pass of it. That’s got to be one of the most special memories I have of making any music anywhere.”
Though Tim felt such a strong connection to the song, he never played it for his father. He offered, “I just felt like it maybe wasn’t the right thing to do.”