Category Archives: New Traditionalism

4 George Strait Songs That Deserve That #1 Seat


“Unless you’re God or George Strait, Take Off Your Boots”. Known as the “King of country music”, George Strait has released 59 #1 singles. Believe it or not, some of his greatest songs didn’t quite reach that #1 seat and here is a list of four that deserve it:

1) “Marina Del Rey” released in 1982

Released as a single from his album, Strait from the Heart, this is a song about a memory made with a love a man met while in Marina Del Rey. “As we looked into each others’ eyes/ We found our bodies lost in paradise/ Like castaways in Marina Del Rey.” We sense the affair between the two characters as something they will remember for the rest of the their lives. This song embodies notions listeners want to feel – passionate love.

2) “Amarillo by Morning” released in 1982

“Amarillo by Morning”, also a single released from the album, Strait from the Heart, describes the life of a rodeo man. Strait sings about the love the narrator has for rodeo life stating, “I ain’t got a dime but what I got is mine, I ain’t rich but Lord I’m free”. This song is relatable to many people who do what they love simply because they enjoy it.

3) “The Cowboy Rides Away” released in 1984

I know what you are thinking, “The Cowboy Rides Away” has to be a #1. Nope, but it sure deserves to be. From the album, Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind, this song tells us about relationship that has had its ups and downs. The song concludes by telling us “the last goodbyes the hardest one to say. This is where the cowboy rides away”. This song always seem to be the last song played at a dance, where you’re sure to see a full dance floor.

4) “Cowboys Like Us” released in 2003

“Cowboys Like Us” reached #2 on Billboard Hot Country Singles from his album Honkeytonkville. This song is an ode to all the real cowboys still left out there. “Cowboys like us sure do have fun/ racin’ the wind, chasin’ the sun.” I picture a bunch of boys on horses, wearing cowboy hats riding down the pasture having a genuine good time. How can you not love that? “There’ll be no regrets, no worries and such/ For cowboys like us.” This carefree way of life brings out the inner cowboy in all of us.

From break ups and heartache to love and passion, George Strait has sung about it all. These four songs symbolize the true meaning of country music. We applaud George Strait’s talents and the fact that he has had so many #1’s, but hey these songs deserve that count to be 63.


Filed under Blog Post 3, Lists, New Traditionalism, Song Analysis, Texas

“Not What I Expected” Country Experiences

After two-stepping at Midnight Rodeo, spending all my money at Antone’s Record Shop, greeting 8-foot tall Willie Nelson, and watching the glamorous motion picture “Country Strong”, I have come to realize country music is a different experience for everyone. Country has a variety of meanings.


Filed under Austin, Class work, Classic Country, Country Pop, Dancing, Movies and TV, New Traditionalism, Storify

A George Song for Everyone

While I was home for Easter, we ate at one of my all time favorite restaurants – Babe’s Chicken Dinner. Who doesn’t love good fried chicken? Babe’s entertained diners with classic George Strait songs, which started a lively discussion about my family’s favorites.

“The Chair”

“The Chair” is my mom’s favorite George Strait song and is the first Strait song she remembers hearing. The song eavesdrops on a conversation between two strangers. The man approaches the woman and tells her “I think you’ve got my chair.” The song progresses along with their conversation. At the end, the man throws listeners for a loop, confessing “that wasn’t my chair after all.” My mom enjoys how “The Chair” plays with the conventions of conversation.

“Marina Del Rey”

Apparently, George Strait makes a great first impression because my dad’s favorite song is “Marina Del Rey,” the first song he heard on his first George Strait CD. This song about a vacation love affair ends with the couple’s goodbye. My dad says this song is timeless, catchy and “vintage George Strait.” Critics say that Strait didn’t have the vocals to pull off the performance, but after watching his performance from The Cowboy Rides Away Tour, it is obvious his vocals are well suited for the song.

“Amarillo by Morning”

My grandma was born in Amarillo, Texas, so she feels a personal connection to “Amarillo By Morning”. It reminds her of driving to Colorado and stopping in Amarillo, the halfway point. Terry Strafford originally recorded “Amarillo By Morning” and George Strait covered it in 1982. “Amarillo By Morning” is very recognizable as George Strait’s because he paints a picture with the lyrics and instrumentals.

“You Look So Good in Love” 

“You Look So Good in Love” is my favorite Strait song. It is a unique break-up song. The narrator watches his ex-lover fall in love with someone else. However, instead of wanting to steal her back he realizes that he is not the guy to make her happy. He knows they weren’t meant to be. The sappy side of me loves that he lets his ex-lover have her happiness. The musical side of me recognizes that this is a very well written, catchy song.

There is no denying that the “King of Country Music” will forever be legendary. The ability of country music fans to immediately name a favorite George Strait song reflects the personal nature of his songs and his status as “King of Country Music.” Strait is a symbol of talent and consistency, a symbol that has propelled to the top. However, now that he is not touring and is taking a lower profile, new fans might not discover their favorite George Strait song – and they’ll be missing out.

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Filed under Country Symbols, Lists, Live Music, Music Videos, New Traditionalism, Reflection, Texas

The Good Kind of Country Music

A couple of weekends ago, a handful of my friends and myself packed up a change of clothes, jumped in the car, and made our way to College Station. We were making our way to hang out with a couple of our sorority sisters as well as attend the probate of the brothers of Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc. I was excited to be taking a mini-road trip to escape the stress of school for the weekend and to clear my mind with a nice drive down some country roads.

Since I was the one who would be driving, that meant that I also had control of the radio. Because I knew that my sisters are not big fans of country music, I took this into consideration and kindly turned the dial to a pop station. We got a good thirty minutes of Adam Levine, Taylor Swift, and Iggy before I had to find another station. Unfortunately (for them), shortly after we passed the Austin city line and made our way further into the country we began to lose signal of the pop station and I was forced to turn to a different station.

After browsing through the stations for quite some time, I finally came across a radio station that caught my attention. “Young,” by Kenney Chesney was playing. When I heard this song I initially had passed the station up but as I realized what song it was that was playing, I quickly returned to the station. It reminded me of intermediate school; eighth grade to be exact. It brought back memories of the group of friends I had in intermediate school, the little rebellious phase we went through, and how we would be going our different ways in high school. This type of country music reminded me of my time as a child, growing up listening to country music on trips to Corpus Christi with my parents and siblings.

Next came some good ole George Strait, Reba, and Garth Brooks. I had missed this kind of country music being played on the radio; today’s country music radio consists of artists like Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum, and Sam Hunt (who I personally wouldn’t even consider country). I couldn’t really remember the last time I had listened to country music on the radio and actually enjoyed it. It wasn’t really until I spent an entire two hours listening to the country artists that I grew up listening to that I realized there was something wrong with today’s country radio. Today’s country music radio stations should follow the lead of this “Classic Country” radio station and I just might start listening to country music on the radio again.


Filed under Classic Country, New Traditionalism

Keeping Traditional Country Music Alive

This weekend I was able to go home to San Angelo with some friends and visit for a couple days, which is always refreshing and serves as a way to get away from school for a little bit. It was the last weekend of the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo, and we didn’t want to miss out on all the fun.

CaseUnfortunately, since tickets sell out several weeks in advance, I wasn’t able to attend the actual rodeo performance. As disappointing as that was, at least I was still able to take part in something rodeo-related. One of my best friends, Case Hardin, started a country music band after we graduated high school, and since then he has made a name for himself, playing shows at dance halls all over the state. The past two years he has played shows during rodeo season in what is collectively known as “the beer barn”. Located directly next to the coliseum where the rodeo is held, the beer barn is where people go to, well, drink beer before and after the rodeo. It’s a non-insulated wooden building, includes a stage and a dance floor, and it has no seats or tables. Instead, everyone packs in as tightly as possible and those remaining gather outside.

While it may sound like an unpleasant place, what makes it awesome is the music. What is usually a run-of-the-mill shack basically in the middle of nowhere comes to life as an authentic dance hall. Case played for three hours to an audience of hundreds of rodeo-goers, and the dance floor was filled during every song. Case, a bona fide fan of traditional/neotraditional country music, performed covers of singers like George Strait, Tracy Byrd, and Conway Twitty, and he mixed in some western swing with songs from Bob Wills. Backed by his band, which simply includes a guitar, bass guitar, steel guitar, and drums, Case keeps the spirit of traditional country music alive with his twang and his salutes to legends past. I knew when I saw him sing George Strait’s “Heartland” in the 4th grade talent show that Case was destined to be a country music performer. Case’s next show is March 14th at the London Dance Hall in London, Texas, which is considered to be the oldest dance hall in Texas. It’s awesome to see one of my good friends experience some success, and it was great to be able to catch one of his shows.


Filed under Dancing, Honky Tonk, Live Music, New Traditionalism, Texas, Western Swing