George Strait Is At His Peak As He Performs For The US’s Largest-Ever Indoor Concert Audience

For a good long run, George Strait was the straight-up, straight-down-the-line country radio superstar. Garth Brooks tops Strait in total sales, but in terms of length of career and consistency in producing Country Music Association endorsed hits, George Strait is the man. Strait broke onto country radio in 1981 with Unwound. For over 30 years, he never looked back. Such was the impact of his hat-act country that Strait is credited with saving country radio from the pop country of the late 1970s.

Hat-act country, what is that, you ask? Well, that’s the music ‘stetson the US country stations :). It’s the in-the-pocket Western Swing of Bob Wills and (Strait’s idol) Merle Haggard, with the highly individual, wayward-visionary qualities of Haggard or, say, Waylon Jennings toned down. Comin’ to y’all on The Music Man country slot, here is the Honky Tonk Sinatra, Mr. George Strait, with his 1993 top-ten country hit When Did You Stop Loving Me, sung here with crossover superstar Sheryl Crow.

Marie Watson says: “I remember when this came on the radio, I loved it and still do. There will never be another George Strait, the King of Country Music.” Ann Bowers concurs: “No one is like George Strait; the way he does a song & the emotions in everything he does!” Wanda Hacker adds, “This was George Strait at his best. This great duet brings out the best in both singers. Very good chemistry, pretty sexy!” TX MS Kid says: “Wow! George Strait & Sheryl Crow blew this out of the water! Greatness!”

Every generation ushers a hero off the pop charts. As hat acts (Strait, Toby Keith, Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson) began making way for younger, rockier cap hats (Eric Church, Luke Bryan) after 2010, George Strait maintained his loyal audience but lost his prominence on country radio. Our next song, Kicked Outta Country (a 2018 co-write by Strait and Jamey Johnson) is an unusually forthright release from Strait that reflects on this development. This live version by the two songwriters is from 2022.

A few more interesting anecdotes about George Strait need to be told. First, since 1982, Strait has hosted a Team Steer Roping contest in San Antonio, Texas. Over time, there was enough George Strait music for it to be played all weekend. Writing about the 2018 event, Kelefa Sanneh of the New Yorker noted that it is a testament to Strait’s legacy that some roping contest attendees might not have noticed the wall-to-wall Strait music. “His music is so synonymous with the genre,” Sanneh writes, “that a selection of his hits might simply sound, to the casual listener, like a classic-country playlist.” No wonder George Strait is known as the King of Country. Second, Strait has found that if he doesn’t wear his hat (“if he goes about naked from the neck up”), he can go about unrecognized, even in his hometown, San Antonio, so long as he doesn’t flash his distinctive broad smile.

Our first video – “When Did You Stop Loving Me” with Sheryl Crow joining Strait – is from The Cowboy Rides Away tour DVD, filmed in front of over 100,000 fans in Arlington, Texas on June 7, 2014. The concert was the last stop on the then 61-year-old Strait’s farewell-from-touring tour. It was the US’s 2nd biggest ticket-paying single concert ever and the US’s largest indoor concert ever! Earlier in the tour, on the last stop of the first leg of the two-year Cowboy Rides Away tour (June 2013, 70,000 concert goers), the governor of Texas, Rick Perry, declared that Strait’s birthday, May 18, would be George Strait Day in Texas henceforth. Absolutely Strait.

Enjoy the timeless country hits of George Strait, a true legend in the industry. For more of his captivating music that continues to shape the country landscape, subscribe to his YouTube Channel. You can also stay updated with news and events via George Strait’s social media on Facebook or explore more about this Honky Tonk Sinatra at his official Website. Step into the world of George Strait, an artist who consistently impresses with his unique approach to country music and unparalleled longevity.

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