Little-Known Facts About George Strait


With his wide cowboy hat and toothy grin, George Strait is country music’s embodiment of hardworking masculinity. He’s built a career on longevity, producing hits year after year without taking a break or making a radical musical departure.

The latest album from the legend, Troubadour, proved that Strait is not slowing down. The album qualifies as an experimental release for the veteran performer with its use of vocal processing.

Born in Pearsall, Texas

George Strait was born in 1952 in Pearsall, Texas, to a family of ranchers. His father, John, taught him about livestock, and he and his brother played in several garage bands as teenagers. After graduating high school, he eloped with his sweetheart, Norma, then joined the Army.

During his time in the service, he began singing with an Army band at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. This experience helped him refine his guitar and vocal skills. He also learned the music of Hank Williams, George Jones, Merle Haggard, and — most importantly — Bob Wills, the champion of western swing.

After his military stint ended in 1975, Strait went back to Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, where he studied agriculture and formed the country band Stoney Ridge (later renamed Ace in the Hole Band). After graduation, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue his musical career. But his efforts were largely unsuccessful. Record companies were skeptical of his traditional style in an era that was moving toward a pop-country sound.

Finally, in 1981, Strait signed with MCA Records. He recorded his first honky-tonk missive, “Unwound,” which went to #6 on the Billboard charts. This album helped to increase the amount of hardcore country airplay on radio stations.

Raised in Big Wells, Texas

George Strait was raised in a family that loved ranching and had a strong attachment to the Texas landscape. His father, a math teacher, ran the family ranch in Big Wells, and he and his brother would spend weekends working there. He also loved to listen to country music. However, he didn’t really take the genre seriously until college when he heard albums by Merle Haggard, an outlaw country artist who rejected the rise of rock and roll in the 1970s.

After graduating from high school, George married his high school sweetheart Norma and joined the Army, where he was stationed in Hawaii with the 25th Infantry Division. While in the military, he played with an Army-sponsored band called Rambling Country and managed a cattle ranch during the day.

He returned to his studies after his military service and enrolled at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, where he studied agriculture. While there, he formed the Ace in the Hole Band and began playing in area honky tonks. They gained a regional following and opened for popular acts like the Texas Playboys. In 1975, the band recorded singles in a Houston studio and gained the attention of Music Row talent scouts.

After a long hiatus from recording, George Strait began touring again in the late 1990s and is still performing today. He has won numerous awards, including Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year. He also has starred in several movies, including The Soldier (1982), Pure Country (1992), and Champion (2002). He has a grandson named Harvey and enjoys spending time with him. He also likes to ride horses and hunt.

Joined the United States Army

George Strait was one of country music’s most popular concert performers in the 1980s and ’90s. He revived interest in traditional honky-tonk and western swing, and his shows continued to sell out into the 21st century. He’s known as a hardworking cowboy with a firm grip on traditional values and a love for his home state of Texas. But there are plenty of little-known details about the singer’s life and career.

In his autobiography, Strait describes how he joined the Army after graduating from high school. He was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division stationed in Hawaii, where he learned to play guitar and sang in an Army-sponsored band called Rambling Country. The experience strengthened his resolve to pursue a career in music. After he was honorably discharged from the military, he resumed his studies at Southwest Texas State University and played with local bands such as Ace in the Hole.

Despite his success, Strait kept a low profile. He was never seen wearing a fancy suit or a designer hat and preferred to dress in a simple, classic country uniform of a button-down shirt, jeans, and a broad cowboy hat. He also avoids interviews but is willing to talk about his family and musical achievements when asked.

Like many famous musicians, Strait is a private person who doesn’t give much press to personal issues. But he has shared some information about his family, including his daughters. He and his wife Norma have one son, who is a professional rodeo cowboy. They also have two grandchildren and enjoy steer-roping, golf, and skiing together. They have been active in their community and support numerous charities.

Moved to Nashville

George Strait left the army in 1975, resumed his studies at Southwest Texas State University, and joined a country band called Stoney Ridge (later renamed Ace in the Hole) that played the local clubs. He tried repeatedly to promote his music in Nashville, but the industry executives balked, doubting the appeal of his traditional style in a market that was rapidly being dominated by slicker images and pop-country sounds.

Strait’s patience was wearing thin, and he announced to his Ace In The Hole buddies that he was quitting and returning to Uvalde to work full-time for a company that made cattle pens. But he got a call from Erv Woolsey, who owned one of the dancehalls where the band had been playing and who also served as his manager. Woolsey suggested that George make one last-ditch effort to prove himself in Nashville by recording a single song, which he did with the help of Dean Dillon and Frank Dycus, who had written “Unwound.”

The record peaked at number six on the charts and gave Strait a second chance with the record industry. He quickly started turning out hits, including a string of 61 number-one country singles and an equally impressive series of albums.

Many of those studio albums, such as 1984’s Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind, emphasized his ongoing debt to western swing and honky-tonk. But he always managed to add a bit of contemporary sound to his releases without ever losing sight of the goal of making hit singles and filling arenas. It’s a strategy that has made him the most successful artist in country history, with more than 100 chart-topping singles and a series of platinum and gold albums.

Signed with RCA Records

A longtime military man, Strait found his musical calling while stationed in Hawaii when he auditioned for and won the lead vocal spot in a country band on base. The experience inspired him to focus his life on music. Strait has mastered a variety of styles but is most known for his classic Texas country sound. He has been a favorite of fans for decades. His concerts often sell out stadiums, and his records have been certified as multi-platinum and platinum.

Strait co-wrote several songs on TWANG for the first time. The most noteworthy of these is “Living for the Night,” which he wrote with his son Bubba. The song reflects the forward-thinking mindset of Strait’s new direction, balancing traditional Texas country with fresh, contemporary sounds.

On TWANG, Strait also delivers plenty of the old-school honky-tonk that hardcore fans expect. “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” is a steel-guitar Texas country ballad that ranks among the singer’s most moving old-school performances, and “Easy as You Go” offers a mature take on life that many listeners have come to appreciate.

TWANG also features a cover of the Bob Wills classic “El Rey.” Although Strait doesn’t know much about Spanish, he performs it like a pro, with a rich, dramatic tone. He also delivers the uptempo hit “Hot Grease and Zydeco,” which will get you thinking of Friday nights and dancing across a hardwood floor. This album marked the beginning of an enduring career, one that has included numerous awards and milestones. To this day, Strait has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide. This makes him one of the best-selling music artists in history.