Music >> Artists >> Country
Birth Name:
George Harvey Strait


Years Active:
'70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

George Strait


Out of all the new country singers to emerge in the early '80s, George Strait stayed the closest to traditional country. Drawing from both the honky tonk and Western swing traditions, Strait didn't refashion the genres; instead, he revitalized them for a new decade. In the process, he became one of the most popular and influential singers of the decade, sparking a wave of neo-traditionalist singers from Randy Travis and Dwight Yoakam to Clint Black, Garth Brooks, and Alan Jackson.. Strait was born and raised in Texas, the son of a junior high school teacher who also owned and operated a ranch that had been in the Strait family for nearly 100 years. When George was a child, his mother left the family, taking her daughter but leaving her sons behind with their father. During his childhood, he would spend his weekdays in town and his weekends on the ranch. Strait began playing music as a teenager, joining a rock & roll garage band. After his high school graduation in the late '60s, he enrolled in college but soon dropped out and eloped with his high school sweetheart, Norma. In 1971, Strait enlisted in the Army; two years later, he was stationed in Hawaii. While there, he began playing country music, initially with an Army-sponsored country band called Rambling Country. They played several dates off the base under the name Santee. Strait left the Army in 1975, returning to Texas with the intent of completing his education. He enrolled in Southwest Texas State University at San Marcos, where he studied agriculture. While he was studying, he formed his own country band, Ace in the Hole.

Ace in the Hole made a few records for the independent Dallas-based label D in the late '70s, but they never went anywhere. Toward the end of the decade, Strait attempted to carve out a niche in Nashville, but he failed since he lacked any strong connections. In 1979, he became friends with Erv Woolsey, a Texas club owner who had formerly worked for MCA Records. Woolsey had several MCA executives come down to Texas to hear Strait. His performance convinced the company to sign him in 1980. "Unwound," Strait's first single, was released in the spring of 1981 and climbed into the Top Ten. The follow-up, "Down and Out," stalled at 16, but "If You're Thinking You Want a Stranger (There's One Coming Home)" reached number three in early 1982. The song sparked a remarkable string of Top Ten hits that ran well into the '90s. During that time he had an astonishing 31 number one singles, beginning with 1982's "Fool Hearted Memory."

Throughout the '80s, he dominated the country singles charts, and his albums consistently went platinum or gold. Strait rarely abandoned hardcore honky tonk and Western swing — toward the beginning of the '90s, his sound became a little slicker, but it was only a relative change. Strait was also one of the few '80s superstars to survive the generational shift of the early '90s that began with the phenomenal success of Garth Brooks. In 1992, he made his first movie, Pure Country, which featured him in the lead role. Strait released a four-disc box set career retrospective, Strait Out of the Box, in 1995. By the spring of 1996, it had become one of the five biggest-selling box sets in popular music history. Blue Clear Sky, his 1996 album, debuted on the country charts at number one and the pop charts at number seven. In 1997, he released Carrying Your Love with Me, following it with One Step at a Time in 1998. Always Never the Same appeared a year later, as did the seasonal effort Merry Christmas Wherever You Are. The simply titled George Strait, featuring the hit single "Go On," hit the shelves in late 2000.

Did Strait slow down? Nah. The following year saw the release of The Road Less Traveled, which qualified as an experimental album of sorts for the veteran performer. While it didn't stray very far from his new traditionalist country sound, Road did include a foray into vocal processing that was about as country as a pair of stiletto-healed cowboy boots. But the experimentation was welcome, for it revealed that Strait was still hungry, even after millions upon millions of records sold. Strait issued two projects in 2003. For the Last Time: Live from the Astrodome chronicled his headlining set at the last Houston Livestock and Rodeo ever held in the big Texas dome, while Honkytonkville was a fiery set of hard country, lauded by critics for its mixture of the old Strait with his modern, superstar self. Somewhere Down in Texas arrived in 2005, followed by It Just Comes Natural in 2006, and Troubadour and the holiday album Classic Christmas in 2008. Twang, co-produced by Strait and Tony Brown, appeared in 2009. Strait co-wrote seven of the eleven songs (sharing credits with Dean Dillon, Bobby Boyd, and his son, Bubba Strait) on 2011's Here for a Good Time, his 39th studio album, which was co-produced by Strait and Brown and recorded at Jimmy Buffett's Shrimpboat Sound Studio in Key West, Florida.

Here for a Good Time gave Strait two more Top 10 singles — "Here for a Good Time" and "Love's Gonna Make It Alright" both missed the top of the charts, peaking at two and three, respectively — and about a year after its release, Strait announced that he was retiring from touring. He planned one last tour, called The Cowboy Rides Away Tour, beginning in 2013 and ending in 2014. Just before this farewell journey kicked off, Strait released a new album, Love Is Everything, in May of 2013; it was preceded by the single "Give It All We Got Tonight."

Top Albums

1. The Cowboy R..
50 Number Ones, George Strait
2. 50 Number On..
Love Is Everything, George Strait
3. Love Is Ever..
Troubadour, George Strait
4. Troubadour
Twang, George Strait
5. Twang
22 More Hits, George Strait
6. 22 More Hits
It Just Comes Natural, George Strait
7. It Just Come..
Here for a Good Time, George Strait
8. Here for a G..
Pure Country (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture), George Strait
9. Pure Country..
George Strait's Greatest Hits, George Strait
10. George Strai..
Best of George Strait (Deluxe Edition), George Strait
11. Best of Geor..
Somewhere Down In Texas, George Strait
12. Somewhere Do..
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: Best of George Strait, George Strait
13. 20th Century..
George Strait's Greatest Hits Volume Two, George Strait
14. George Strai..
For the Last Time - Live from the Astrodome, George Strait
15. For the Last..
Classic Christmas, George Strait
16. Classic Chri..
Strait Out of the Box, George Strait
17. Strait Out o..
Best of George Strait, George Strait
18. Best of Geor..
Merry Christmas Strait to You, George Strait
19. Merry Christ..
Latest Greatest Straitest Hits, George Strait
20. Latest Great..

Top Songs

I Got a CarLove Is Everything4:31$1.29
Cowboys Like Us (Live)Cowboy Rides Away: Live Fro..3:18$1.29
Give It All We Got TonightLove Is Everything4:11$1.29
Run (Live)Cowboy Rides Away: Live Fro..3:48$1.29
Cowboy Rides Away (Live)Cowboy Rides Away: Live Fro..7:04$1.29
I Cross My Heart20th Century Masters - The ..3:31$1.29
Check Yes or NoStrait Out of the Box3:20$1.29
Amarillo by MorningGeorge Strait's Greates..2:54$1.29
RunRoad Less Traveled4:05$1.29
Give It AwayIt Just Comes Natural3:29$1.29
Carrying Your Love With MeCarrying Your Love With Me3:52$1.29
Check Yes Or No (Live)Cowboy Rides Away: Live Fro..3:26$1.29
Here for a Good TimeHere for a Good Time3:00$1.29
All My Ex's Live In Texas (Live)Cowboy Rides Away: Live Fro..3:28$1.29
Ocean Front Property (Live)Cowboy Rides Away: Live Fro..3:17$1.29
Fool Hearted Memory (Live)Cowboy Rides Away: Live Fro..2:58$1.29
I Saw God TodayTroubadour3:23$1.29
Cowboys Like UsHonkytonkville3:39$1.29
Jackson (Live)Cowboy Rides Away: Live Fro..3:10$1.29
I Can Still Make Cheyenne50 Number Ones4:11$1.29
Write This DownAlways Never the Same3:39$1.29
She'll Leave You With a Smile (E..50 Number Ones2:44$1.29
Cowboy Rides Away22 More Hits3:20$1.29
Here For a Good Time (Live)Cowboy Rides Away: Live Fro..2:55$1.29

Top Music Videos

Shiftwork, Kenny Chesney Duet with George Strait
1. Shiftwork
Troubadour, George Strait
2. Troubadour
The Seashores of Old Mexico, George Strait
3. The Seashores...
Carrying Your Love With Me, George Strait
4. Carrying Your...
Amarillo By Morning, George Strait
5. Amarillo By M...
Baby's Gotten Good At Goodbye, George Strait
6. Baby's Gotten...
If I Know Me, George Strait
7. If I Know Me
Living for the Night (Live @ Reliant Stadium), George Strait
8. Living for th...
The Man In Love With You, George Strait
9. The Man In Lo...
Don't Make Me Come Over There and Love You, George Strait
10. Don't Make Me...
Write This Down, George Strait
11. Write This Do...


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