A man who cares about friendship and the traditions of country music, singer George Harvey Strait (1952-) was born on this day in Poteet, Texas.
Strait grew up working on his family's 2,000-acre cattle ranch where he taught himself the guitar and sang Merle Haggard, George Jones, and Hank Williams songs.
Just after high school, Strait enlisted in the Army and joined a band while stationed in Hawaii at Schofield Barracks. "I always knew I wanted to be a country singer, but it wasn't until I got to Hawaii that I really got serious about it," said Strait who in 1981 signed with MCA and recorded his first top ten hit, Unwound.
Called "the Pope of Texas," Strait is known for his trademark white hat, honky-tonk style, and sentimental ballads. All of his albums have certified gold or better. Pure Country, the soundtrack from his successful 1992 film, sold over five million copies.
In tribute to the humble Texan, USA Today's critic David Zimmerman wrote, "Sometimes you wonder: Is country music getting worse or is Strait just getting better and better?"
"George is the gentleman cowboy we all used to dream about," praised country star Patty Loveless.
With a Degree in Agriculture from South West Texas University and a ranch in San Marcos, Texas, Strait continues to inspire others with his ongoing legacy of country standards. As singer Garth Brooks put it, “I am doing what I am doing because of the good Lord, my family, and George Strait.”
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