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Clay Sets The Record Strait On His Love For George

Clay and George Strait in Albany
Clay and George Strait in Albany

Where to begin? First happy 60th to a true legend in music. To try to say everything that is cool about George Strait could take me awhile. People ask me all the time why I am such a huge fan of his. For me it is all about the music first and foremost.True. Strait may not have written all of his 59 #1 hits. But, in order to achieve such a record says a lot about his style and consistency in presenting his interpretation of what the authors envisioned. It’s like a NASCAR driver, they don’t make the cars or even fix them…yet they are the ones responsible for the wins in the end!

One of my favorite in my collection
One of my favorite in my collection

I can put myself in just about every single song he has. The only ones I don’t relate to are the ones about being a dad. The losses, the loves, the hurts, the drinking and honky-tonk songs all have some connection to my life. It seems every new album he puts out has that special way of connecting to guys like me. There are some rodeo songs such as Amarillo By Morning or I Can Still Make Cheyenne that tell the best stories. I have never been a rodeo cowboy. However, I don’t think you have to ride a bull to know what Strait means and feels when he sings lines like…”Left my wife and girlfriend somewhere along the way.” Having gone through many relationships including a marriage, I can totally relate to that sort of perspective of looking back and thinking about what you gave up because at the time something else seemed more important. Songs like “Nobody In His Right Mind Would Have Left Her” are GENIUS. The title, the lyrics the emotion. Every time I hear it I think of that special someone. I think we all do…that’s why it’s a hit.

Even the album cuts that never made it to radio are hits in my opinion. The song “One Step At A Time” is pure  as pure country gets. It tells a story about a guy who overhears a guy talking about his “angel” and tells him to watch because it may be too late when you realize angels don’t fly, they walk away one step at a time.  Damn, it gives me chills just writing that. We have all been duped into thinking someone is “the one” when everyone else knows they’re not.

George Strait is Texas through and through. I love Texas. By far my favorite state. If you have been there you know what I mean when I say it is a different place than any other. It is filled with pride and yet the people treat you like a friend. The open spaces, the history and the cowboy way of life is still very much alive and nobody sings a song about Texas better than Strait. “Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind,” “Remember The Alamo..” the list is big as Texas!

Ok. So if I had to choose just one song to listen to of his, if I had to pick just one song that I can say is my favorite Strait song..that would be very tough…and I am gonna have to say it’s a 3 way tie!!  (Sorry but it’s gotta be) “If I Know Me” is one of the best love songs of all time. Simply because it isn’t about a perfect scenario. People fight and argue. This song isn’t about flowers or hearts and chocolate. It’s about saying sorry…if you truly love someone..sorry means more than saying I Love You. It means that you know you screwed up and nothing would be worse than going on without that person as a result of a silly mistake that you couldn’t apologize for. #2 “The Chill Of An Early Fall.” This song is so good I can’t even stand it. I hate that feeling of “knowing” when someone is lying to you about someone just being a “friend.” I hate that feeling of giving everything you’ve got only to find out it’s another dead end. The symbolism of an early fall is amazing. You know that feeling when summer is hot and fun and then one night it’s cold and damp in late August and you get that feeling that the good weather will be gone soon.  That’s the emotion of this song.

That leaves one more song on my list of favorites.  “So Much Like My Dad” is almost too hard to write about. I can’t even hardly listen to it without getting shook up. My mother passed early on in my life. And I will be the first to tell you that I am and will always be a mommas boy. Hearing the lyric “remember when I was dad’s pride and joy, and your little man” tears me apart. When Strait sings about the mother being his source of security and his savior from pain, I can totally relate. When I got hurt as a kid, I just wanted to get my mother to fix it. Comparing those scrapes as a kid to heartache as an adult is magic in music. In the song, the boy as a man goes to his mother to ask his mom for help.He knows his love is going to leave.  The mother would say that he is getting more and more like his dad. George ponders, if that is true, “tell me what he said to make you stay.”

For me, it’s more than just music when it comes to George Strait, it is about emotion. For some reason his songs and his style of singing them have a way of understanding what I feel and am going through. From losing my mom and dad to going through a divorce and everything that goes with being in and out of love, it’s no surprise why he has had such success.

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