Who Will Fill the Shoes of “The King of Country”?

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 8.36.02 PMOver the weekend, I made a trip to Friendswood, TX, where I was born and raised just south of Houston. Like I usually do on my drive home, I pressed shuffle on my Spotify “country faves” and listened to my favorite songs that have accumulated over time in one playlist. The majority of my playlist is so-called Texas Country songs, including artists like Cody Johnson, Randy Rogers, Aaron Watson, and Cory Morrow. Side note – I absolutely love love love those guys and respect their passion in staying true to traditional country music, staying away from the mainstream vibe that most artists tend to evolve into.

Now back to my drive, I listened to all 109 songs in my country playlist and finally made it home.
My love for country music is definitely a result of my parents, who mostly only listen to country music, with the occasional pop hit that my 12-year-old brother likes to interrupt them with. My mom is from Dallas and spent her younger years dancing the night away at country saloons, and my dad is from Tennessee, where he quite literally has never listened to anything other than country radio. Thankfully I love country for my own reasons, but they definitely had something to do with how I started listening to the genre in the first place.

Ace-in-the-Hole-Band-with-George-Strait-Debut-at-Cheatham-Street-Warehouse-10-13-75.-Courtesy-of-Terry-Hale.1-1024x682One night while I was home, we went to dinner at our favorite Cajun restaurant to have some crawfish and beer with some family friends. Of course, the moms had a few too many and ended up on a tangent about their memories of their absolute favorite country artists, George Strait, from when he was just starting out. They talked about how much of a “heart-throb” he was, and how they would give anything in the world to meet him. My mom also reminded me of how close she’s been to him for he 100th time when he was a part of Ace in the Hole Band, “I touched George Strait’s Boot!!!! He should know me!!!” It is safe to say that like most women in their late 40’s, George Strait was her first love and to this day she would probably pass out if she could give him a hug. I don’t really know how to explain how deep her love is for him… hopefully sharing that she actually cried during his entire Cowboy Rides Away tour gives an idea.

All of the talk about George Strait’s younger days had me thinking about the guys I listen to at small concerts all over Texas, much like my mom and her friends did when George was just starting out. I can’t help but wonder if any of my favorite Texas country artists will end up being as legendary as The King himself one day. The first person that comes to mind is my all time favorite, Cody Johnson. Like George, his music strays away from mainstream and he hopes to keep traditional country in country music. Some of my favorites are Diamond In My Pocket and Ride With Me, which remind me so much of some of George Strait’s classics, like Write This Down and Blue Clear Sky.

51-atxl1While I believe in Cody and other Texas country artists’ potential to be huge one day, it doesn’t really seem possible to have 60 number 1 hits, more than any other artists in the country genre, which makes George Strait “The King”. Everyone knows who George Strait is, whether they listen to country or not. He is an icon to the country music industry and while a girl can dream, I’m not really sure that anyone has big enough feet to fill the shoes of the King of Country! George Strait’s success is what every country artist dreams of, and I hope to see one of my favorites work as hard as he did to achieve that and reach the top one-day.



Filed under Blog Post 2, George Strait, Texas

7 Responses to Who Will Fill the Shoes of “The King of Country”?

  1. Shira Yoram

    I don’t know if anyone could ever fill the shoes of the King of country music. It is unheard of to have that many #1 hits! Especially because of today’s popular country music artists who are definitely more pop and rock than country. I really makes me sad that George Strait is done performing too because he is one artist I would die to see live in concert. Reading about your mother’s love of George Strait was really great to hear. I don’t blame her for telling the story of touching his boot over and over again. That is something I would definitely brag about!

  2. Erin McWilliams

    I like your optimism! We all love to dream of our favorites rising to the top… but that is also what makes them special, that they aren’t there yet! I don’t know if anyone will ever be able to step into the boots of George Strait. I’m not sure that I’ve listened to Cody Johnson, maybe I have and I’m just not remembering? I love the screenshot of your Spotify playlist– I always like to see people’s favorites and compare them to my own. I wonder if your mom thought that George Strait was going to be as big as he is now…. crazy to think that at one point he wasn’t the King of Country!

  3. This is a great topic for an article, and began to make me ask myself the same exact question. All of the young country music artist from Texas have a lot of boot left to fill. I personally think George is one in a million, and don’t think anyone will be having the success he has had. If a Texas Country artist were trying to get as big as George, I believe they would have to “sell out” and go to Nashville. I say this because they would have to develop more of a pop sound to attract more listeners and play songs the boss man wants them to play. I don’t like it when artist start getting more pop or “sell their sould”, but the Texas sound simply just does not reach that many listeners today unfortunately. Thanks for the article!

  4. Brittney Haynes

    Why does this article ask the question of the century? I haven’t really thought about it, but now that you’ve bought it up I’m curious. I agree with Shira’s comment, that no one can fill George Strait’s shoes, but, in my opinion, looking at the line-up we have today… I don’t see any. I haven’t heard of Cody Johnson, though so I will listen before I pass judgment. Overall, your article was great, I really enjoyed the story of your mom and George’s boot… honestly, if I was her I be telling that story to my grandchildren. She’s touched greatness!

  5. Drew Scherger

    I also owe a lot of my country music fandom to my parents. My dad is a huge fan of classic country like George Jones, Johnny Cash, and Waylon but oddly enough, he never really listened to much George Strait. I think that the question you pose about the next King of Texas country would excite and worry a lot of people. I’d like to place myself on the more optimistic side. The reigns have been passed off a few times over the years from Bob Wills, to Willie, to George Strait, and given that lineup I think the next one will also have to be just as legendary to earn the title.

  6. Tyler King

    I totally respect your opinion about those artists, but nobody will ever take over being The King from George Strait. Right now in my mind, there is nobody that could fill the shoes of George. While I totally believe that Cody Johnson is a great singer, there is no real way you replace The King.

  7. Julie Kleberg

    I really enjoyed this post because I have been wondering the same thing since I wrote a post about The King last week. I didn’t realize just how succesful he really has been. Apparently he’s in the top three with Elvis and the Beatles…that’s pretty unreal. But his time will pass (sadly) and someone good has to take his spot because I can’t listen to Florida Georgia Line for the resto of my life. I think Cody Johnson definitely has potential. Or Cory Morrow because they both have real talent and are pretty traditional. Everyone’s gotta start somewhere but someone will definitely end up replacing George when his time has past. I hope it’s one of my faves too! Great post!

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