Volunteers legend Peyton Manning escorts country singer to the field ahead of game against top-ranked Bulldogs
The Felice and Boudleaux Bryant-penned classic — which doubles as both an official Tennessee state song and the Volunteers’ fight song — has long been a part of Parton’s live repertoire, and on Saturday, for the University of Tennessee’s big matchup against Number One-ranked Georgia, she got the Neyland Stadium crowd going with “Rocky Top.”
Making it even more Tennessee, Parton was escorted to the field by Volunteers legend and NFL great Peyton Manning.
However, as Parton noted in a post-performance interview, the combination of the loud crowd, marching band and a malfunctioning ear piece conspired against the rendition.
“Well, it was great, only I couldn’t hear because my sound went out and the stadium was so loud….but I was so honored to be here,” Parton said. “It’s just so good to be home, always.”
Parton also touched on her just-released Rockstar, “Well, hey put me in that dang Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and I figured, I’ve got to do something to earn that. I’ve got to do a rock album,” adding that the University of Tennessee had an exclusive version of the LP that included a bluegrass version of “Rocky Top.”
Alas, despite the presence of Parton, the Volunteers were still easily defeated by the top-ranked Bulldogs, 38 to 10.