Country Throwback: Watch George Strait Talk About Singing in the Army in 1982 Interview

by Chris Haney
Photo by Paul Natkin/WireImage via Getty Images

In this edition of Country Throwback, country music icon George Strait touches on the early days of his music career, which started while he was enlisted in the military.

The “King of Country” began his country music career while he was still in the U.S. Army stationed in Hawaii. The singer says that’s where he got the first inkling of taking a stab at being a musician. He bought himself a guitar and started learning some songs. Eventually, he learned enough to get a band together called Rambling Country. Strait says that the whole last year of his time in the service, he performed country music for his fellow soldiers.

“Well, I was in the service and for some reason, I got it in me that I could sing,” Strait said in 1982 to KXIX-TV in Victoria, TX. “I thought that I could possibly make a career out of singing. So I went and I bought a guitar, I was in the army at the time, I was stationed in Hawaii. I went and bought a guitar, I started learning songs. And learned enough where I could get a band together, and did that. And the last year I was in the service that’s what I did for the Army was sing country music.”

Strait Skyrockets up the Charts, and Into Women’s Hearts

In the early ’80s, Strait became increasingly popular. The 1982 interview was one of the first in Strait’s career. However, the musician had already scored five consecutive number-one Billboard hits just in recent months. Strait became a household name in country music not long after and became equally popular with the ladies. The interview accompanies footage of a packed concert, which shows just that.

The reporter spoke with KCWM’s Dave Scott who booked Strait and talked about his rising popularity on the charts and with fans.

“In the last few months, every one of his songs have been number one. He’s had five consecutive number one songs,” Scott says. “George is a very popular artist. But, we didn’t know he would be this popular when we booked him here. Apparently, he is more popular than we even thought he was.”

As the reporter in the interview says, women loved Strait. He even goes on to say that supposedly Strait “can make a cowgirl’s jeans twitch at 100 yards.”

The reporter then speaks to a handful of Strait’s female fans at the concert. They’re asked about their thoughts of the country singer. One blushes as she answers with a big smile, “He sings pretty songs and he’s good looking too. That’s what it is.”

“The King of Country” is appropriately named. He is one of the best-selling artists of all time. Furthermore, Strait earned 60 total number one hits, which is more than any other musician in any genre. The Country Music Hall of Fame inducted him in 2006, the Academy of Country Music named him Artist of the Decade, he’s been named twice as the ACM Entertainer of the Year, and Strait has more CMA Awards than any other country artist ever.

[H/T Wide Open Country]