Over 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.
One 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.
While 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.