On This Day: George Strait Tops the Chart With ‘Love Without End, Amen’ in 1990

by Jim Casey

George Strait topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart with “Love Without End, Amen” on June 9, 1990. While the tune was George’s 18th chart-topper, it became his first multi-week No. 1 hit.

By 1990, George Strait was cranking out No. 1 albums and No. 1 hits quicker than a bucking bronc. When he started working on his 10th studio album, Livin’ It Up, George had already scored seven No. 1 albums and 17 No. 1 hits in less than 10 years. However, his biggest hit was right around the corner.

George released “Love Without End, Amen” on April 6, 1990. The tune served as the upcoming album’s lead single. Buoyed by the single’s rapid climb up the chart, George released Livin’ It Up on May 15. Not only did George claim another No. 1 album, but less than one month later on June 9, “Love Without End, Amen” topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The King of Country had his 18th chart-topper.

Real-Life Inspiration

“Love Without End, Amen” was penned by Aaron Barker—the same man behind George’s 1988 No. 1 hit, “Baby Blue.” Aaron stayed up late one night writing “Love Without End, Amen” after a soul-searching conversation with his 16-year-old son, who had broken house rules and wrecked a car.

Aaron used an occurrence from his own childhood—getting sent home from school for fighting—to kick off the song. By dawn, Aaron had written the ode about a father’s unwavering love. At the behest of his mother, Aaron pitched the song to George Strait.

“That was a real personal song for me, between me and my son,” said Aaron to Country Weekly magazine in 2009. “I never dreamed that George Strait would record that song. But he did.”

However, George wanted one amendment: change the year mentioned in the second verse to “1981,” when his son, Bubba Strait, was born. Of course, Aaron happily obliged.

When “Love Without End, Amen” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart on April 9, it began a five-week run atop the chart.

George Shares the Love

“‘Love Without End, Amen’ is a very special song to me,” noted George Strait in the 2002 companion book, Love Without End, Amen. “When Aaron Barker first brought it to me, I was touched by the simple yet profound message that it sent. A parent’s love for a child is truly unconditional. I can remember growing up and learning a healthy respect for my father’s authority, but also appreciating his love and understanding, even when I didn’t feel like I deserved it. Many of the lessons he tried to instill in me over the years became abundantly clear when I was introduced to fatherhood.”

After “Love Without End, Amen,” Aaron penned more hits for George, including “Easy Come, Easy Go,” “I’d Like to Have That One Back,” and “I Can Still Make Cheyenne.”