Name: George Harvey Strait
Born: May 18, 1952
Birthplace: Poteet, TX
Family: Wife - Norma, Daughter - Jenifer(passed away)
Son - George Jr."Bubba",
Weight: 160 lbs.
Hobbies: Steer-roping, Hunting, Fishing, Skiing, Golf
Record Label: MCA
Producer: George Strait, Co-produced with Tony Brown
Managment: Erv Woolsey
todays 15-seconds of fame celebrity sweepstakes, an entertainer
with staying power is a rarity. And one who is at the top of his game,
after almost two decades in the business, is rarer still. George Strait
not only has staying power, and is not only at the top of his game,
but nearly 20 years after galloping onto the charts carrying the banner
of traditional country music, he is still riding high in the saddle,
and thrilling his legions of fans. Much like his oft-named influence
Frank Sinatra, Strait has done it all his way.
In 1981, Straits first single, "Unwound" landed the
humble Texas cowboy on the country charts, precipitated a genre-wide
return to country roots, and kicked off a remarkable recording history
that has seen the release of 24 studio albums, all of which have been
certified platinum or multi-platinum. In 1992, he starred in Pure Country,
a film that perfectly captured the singers undeniable charisma
and sparked a career surge that has never abated. In 1995, he released
the phenomenally successful Strait Out of The Box, a monumental collection
of 72 cuts, ranging from 31 #1 singles to obscure representations of
his early days as a struggling singer. In the late 90s,
he began The George Strait Country Music Festival, a multi-act, multi-media,
multi-city grand tour of stadiums that has been dubbed "Countrypalooza"
in the national media. Since its inception, it has been one of the highest-grossing
tours on box office charts, always ranking in year-end Top Tens.
Today, standing on the threshold of a new century, Strait is armed with
a brand new album and ready to embark on The George Strait Country Music
Festival Tour 2000.
Latest Greatest Straitest Hits is his 26th album for MCA and his 4th
collection of hits, which gathers the cream of the crop from four recent
studio albums: Lead On (1994), Blue Clear Sky (1996), Carrying Your
Love With Me (1997) and One Step At A Time (1998). The latter three
were all Album of the Year award winners from the CMA, ACM and or TNN.
Latest Greatest Straitest Hits also gives fans a bonus, two brand new
songs recorded for this album, "The Best Day" and "Murder
on Music Row, " a duet with fellow-traditionalist Alan Jackson.
Its only natural that Strait would pay homage to his roots. A
native of Pearsall, Texas, he grew up helping his school-teacher father
on the family ranch. While in the Army, he began playing country music
to pass the time, and when he returned home in the early 1970s, he put
together the Ace in the Hole Band. They became extremely popular in
the cavernous dance halls of the southwest, with a blend of new material,
classic country and Texas swing.
After several ill-fated attempts to make a mark on Music Row, MCA executive
Erv Woolsey (who later became Straits manager) convinced MCA to
sign the soft-spoken Texas rancher, and "Unwound" became a
top-10 hit, an unheard of accomplishment for a brand new artist. But
in the Urban Cowboy era of packaged country-pop music, country fans
knew the real thing when they heard it and they embraced Strait like
a savior. He was named Billboards Top New Male Artist of the Year
and he would ultimately become the Top Male Artist of the Decade. By
the end of the 80s, a new generation of "hat acts were pointing
to George Strait as their biggest influence.
How is it that George Strait can continue to scale such heights of success
after 20 years? The key is that he cares about, and takes care of, the
most important thing, the music. Other stars may go in for explosive
pyrotechnics, wild stage antics and high-profile marketing and media
campaigns, but George Strait just picks great songs and makes them his
own. Then he takes those songs on the road for people to hear up close
and in person, backed by the best live band in country music. Great
songs delivered with integrity and sincerity. Its that simple.
Another key to his success is the consistency he has maintained in his
studio team. Tony Brown has produced all of Straits albums since
Pure Country in 1992, and since then, he and Strait have kept the same
basic cast of first-call Nashville studio pros from album to album:
Eddie Bayers on drums, Glenn Worf on bass, Steve Nathan on piano and
organ, Stuart Duncan on fiddle, Paul Franklin on steel guitar, Steve
Gibson and Brent Mason on guitars, and Curtis Young and Liana Manis
on background vocals. Likewise, Strait has forged lasting relationships
with songwriters who have faithfully delivered top-flight material.
Some of these longtime songwriting friends whose songs appear on this
collection, such as Aaron Barker and Dean Dillon, have been writing
for Strait since the 80s. Yet Strait continues to take chances
with newer writers all the time, so that during the 90s names
like Jim Lauderdale and Jeff Stevens have become intrinsically linked
to Straits amazing hit parade.
This combination of experience and freshness has resulted in a signature
sound that remains solidly rooted in countrys traditions while
delighting fans with the exciting and unexpected.
Three tracks on this collection are from Lead On, the fast and frisky
Cajun-flavored dance number "Adalida"; the tender ballad "Lead
On"; and the heart-wrenching true-to-life "You Cant
Make A Heart Love Somebody."
Four songs from Blue Clear Sky also showcase Straits versatility.
The title track captures the bracing rush of new love with its pulsing
beat and Straits soaring chorus vocals. On "Carried Away"
Strait gets the type of robust melody that truly allows him to show
off his vocal prowess. "I Can Still Make Cheyenne" is a quiet,
subdued story in the classic country mold about a rodeo star who loses
his romantic love to his peripatetic lifestyle. "King of the Mountain"
offers a honky-tonk lyric in classic style, with the kicker chorus "I
thought I was king of the mountain, but I was only a fool on the hill."
Carrying Your Love With Me contributes four hits to this treasure chest.
On "Round About Way" Strait digs with relish into a clever,
uptempo honky-tonk number. On the gently swaying "One Night At
A Time" he plays the confident romantic lead to the hilt. "Carrying
Your Love With Me" could be a page torn out of Straits own
letters to his wife Norma and son George Jr., back home on the ranch.
Conversely in, "Today My World Slipped Away" Strait delivers
a powerful and sensitive remake of Vern Gosdins classic heartbreaker
about the devastation of divorce.
The two cuts offered from One Step At A Time prove that Strait continues
to explore new avenues in his sound. The soaring, surging "True"
marries the best of contemporary country guitar and rhythms with pure
country fiddle and steel. On "We Really Shouldnt Be Doing
This," Strait takes a classic rock and roll rhythm, tosses in some
sly Elvis-like vocal licks, and still keeps the whole production country.
The opening tracks on this album show that Strait remains a master interpreter
of lyrics, a great finder of songs and a standard bearer for classic
country music. "The Best Day" must be a song dear to the singers
own heart; the touching and uplifting tale of the deepening relationship
between father and son is not the first time he has paid tribute to
the subject. "Murder on Music Row" is a reminder that George
Strait cares deeply about country music traditions. On this tongue-in-cheek
lament about the death of real country music, he and superstar partner
Alan Jackson play off each other beautifully, tossing in impassioned
vocal licks that would make Haggard and Jones proud.
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