On This Day: George Strait Tops the Chart With ‘Carrying Your Love With Me’ in 1997

by Jim Casey

George Strait scored his 32nd No. 1 hit when “Carrying Your Love With Me” topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart on July 19, 1997.

The King of Country copped a string of No. 1 hits in the 1980s, including “Fool Hearted Memory,” “The Chair,” and “Baby Blue,” among others. The 1990s were no different for the chart-topping machine. George reached the summit with “Love Without End, Amen,” “If I Know Me,” “Check Yes or No,” “Blue Clear Sky,” and more.

When George was gearing up to release his 1997 studio album, Carrying Your Love With Me, he once again leaned on songwriting buddies Jeff Stevens and Steve Bogard for the title track. Stevens and Bogard penned George’s 1996 No. 1 single, “Carried Away,” as well as future Strait songs “I Look at You” and “Why Not Now.”

George Carries the Tune to No. 1

George released “Carrying Your Love With Me” in May 1997, after the album’s lead single, “One Night at a Time,” spent five weeks at No. 1.

“It’s got some neat little gut-picking on there,” said George to Country Weekly in 1997. “It’s got a real catchy chorus and bridge and it’s kind of an addicting type of chorus. You’ll want to sing along with it just right after you hear it.”

George was right. Listeners carried the tune to the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart on July 19, 1997. “Carrying Your Love With Me” spent four weeks at No. 1.

“The pinnacle of country music is George Strait,” said Steve Bogard to Country Weekly in 1999. “You write, and you think in the back of your mind, ‘Is this good enough to be a George Strait cut?’ You’re shooting for the top. George is the ultimate interpreter of songs. He’s country music’s Frank Sinatra. I can tell that Sinatra was his idol, because his whole goal is communicating the emotions of the song.”

Carrying Your Love With Me was named both ACM Album of the Year and CMA Album of the Year in 1997. George also was named Male Vocalist of the Year at both aforementioned events.

Love the Video

For the single’s 1997 video, George used a director he was very familiar with: Christopher Cain.

Cain directed the 1992 motion picture, Pure Country, which, of course, George starred in.

“He’s the class act of not only country music, but any business,” said Christopher Cain to CW. “George is such a clean, pure act that you want the video to be the same thing—you want to create the same images that he creates in his music. And of course, with George Strait you can shoot a lot of close-ups of him—he’s a good‑looking guy.”

Eagle-eyed viewers will notice another famous face in George’s video: Dean Cain. The Superman actor, who is the son of Christopher Cain, cruised by on a motorcycle in the clip. Dean’s then-fiancée, the late Mindy McCready, was behind him.