The 3 Songs That Kept George Strait’s ‘Best’ Song From Reaching No. 1

by Jim Casey

If you’re going to buy into this title, you’ve got to concede that George Strait’s best song is “I Can Still Make Cheyenne.” If you don’t concede that, how about: The 3 Songs That Kept My Favorite George Strait Song From Reaching No. 1.

The King of Country scored a remarkable 44 No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. And yeah, that’s still the record to beat. Of course, not every one of George’s singles was a chart-topper, including “The Cowboy Rides Away” (No. 5), “Adalida” (No. 3), “Troubadour” (No. 7), “Tell Me Something Bad About Tulsa” (No. 11), “Wrapped” (No. 2), “Amarillo by Morning” (No. 4), “Cowboys Like Us” (No. 2), and the aforementioned “I Can Still Make Cheyenne” (No. 4).

‘I Can Still Make Cheyenne’ – George Strait

Written by Aaron Barker and Erv Woolsey, “I Can Still Make Cheyenne” was released in August 1996 as the third single from George 16th studio album, Blue Clear Sky. After 14 weeks, the single peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart on November 23, 1996.

And while “I Can Still Make Cheyenne” has always been my favorite George Strait song, I had no idea what three songs kept it from reaching No. 1—until today. So I dug up the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart from Nov. 23, 1996.

After you enjoy listening to George’s best song, check out the three tunes that kept him from having 45 No. 1 singles on his resume.

No. 3: ‘Little Bitty’ – Alan Jackson

While Alan Jackson’s “Little Bitty” was No. 3 on the chart (Nov. 23), two weeks later on Dec. 7 it reached No. 1. And that’s not all. “Little Bitty” stayed at No. 1 for three consecutive weeks: Dec. 7, Dec. 14, and Dec. 21.

No. 2: ‘Lonely Too Long’ – Patty Loveless

Patty Loveless’ “Lonely Too Long” was No. 2 on the chart (Nov. 23). It actually topped the chart the prior week on Nov. 16 to become Patty’s fifth—and last—chart-topping hit.

No. 1: ‘Strawberry Wine’ – Deana Carter

Deana Carter scored her first No. 1 hit with “Strawberry Wine” on Nov. 23, 1996. The smash single stayed at No. 1 for two weeks.