All Hail King George

I have three goals that I would like to reach in my musical career, and these haven’t changed since I was 13. Firstly, I want to play at Tootsies in Nashville. Secondly, I want to play at the Ryman. And thirdly, I want to write a song for George Strait. Why George Strait you ask? Well In 1982, a song called fool hearted memory was released. It was the first of 59 of George Straits hits to reach the top of the country charts, and now thirty one years later we are all watching the contender for the 60th number one of his career climb the charts. It’s his 60th birthday on the 18th of may, and in honour, the 60 for 60 campaign was born. Help George make history with his 60th number one before his 60th birthday by purchasing Give it All We Got Tonight. It wasn’t just due to his success that i wanted to write for him; he was popular, but George Strait, now a hall of fame member, is one of out best country artists out there at the moment. And in honour of King George and the 60 for 60 movement, and his upcoming retirement from touring, I’ll countdown my top 6 George Strait singles. Here goes:

The Chair
Dean Dillon/Hank Cochran
This is up there with my all time favourite country songs. It’s such a simple concept, but such a naturally written hit. It’s written just as king George would speak, and although we never hear Strait’s female counterpart speak(or sing), we still feel the emotion and chemistry through George’s performance alone. ‘Could I drink you a buy, oh listen to me, what I mean is can I buy you a drink, anything you please…’ Instrumentally, we have little to distract us from the lyric of the song, which, in this case, is the more important aspect. The gentle steel guitar just grazes the vocal line in a sympathetic way, without detracting my performance. No regular AB verse/chorus is a refreshing change, and drives home the twist , ‘I like you too, and to tell you the truth, that wasn’t my chair after all’. Who could not fall for this coy cowboy singer?

All My Exes Live In Texas
Sanger Shafer/Lyndia Shafer when I first heard this song, I didn’t like it. Not one bit. I thought it was cheesy and the melody grated on me. Forgive me George, I was young. This one isn’t for first time country listeners. This is George straits honky tonk style country in its prime. His vocal slides and the groaning steel guitar, make this the perfect country comedy song. He lists his exes in a humorous way, including ‘Dimples who now lives in temples got the law lookin’ for me’ you can’t help but smile.

Amarillo by Morning
Paul Alexander Fraser/Terry Stafford
If there’s one thing George strait does well, it’s exes and geography. In this case he ‘lost my wife and my girlfriend, somewhere along the way’. However, in contrast to ‘All My Exes,’ this song is more somber, a romantic gentle melody, with thoughtful yet raw lyrics.

The Fireman
Mack Vickery/Wayne Kemp
I have been accused in my life, more than once, for being a fan of ‘trashy’ country music. Not that George Strait is trashy, far from it. However This song plays to George Straits’ sex appeal, his sense of humour and domination of the charts. Although this song didn’t make it to number one, it never fails to make me smile, and that’s why it’s on this list.

Don’t Make Me Come Over There and Love You
Jim Lauderdale/ Carter Wood
Everyone can relate to this song. Even through frustration he still brilliantly expresses his feelings of love and tenderness. You hear this song and you know it is George. He isn’t afraid to show his country roots, and in this case, it makes this a song, that in my mind, is one of his best.

Give It All We Got Tonight
Tim James, Phil O’Donnell and Mark Bright.
So this is the latest single. It’s automatically recognisable as George strait, even though its a different style to the others on this list. I suppose you’d call it more mainstream country, but still the sincerity that fans have come to expect from George Strait. It’s at number 14 and counting!

Alongside his immense talent, his versatility has inspired his success. This list has shown 6 very different George strait songs, I love them all, and surely a man like this should be celebrated. After all, who else would sell out the San Antonio leg of their farewell tour in six minutes?

Do you agree? Did I miss any? What’s your all time favourite George Strait hit?

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