George Strait and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo are like ice and tea. The two blend together so seamlessly it’s difficult to picture one without the other.
It’s why George Strait was in a nostalgic mood Wednesday, thinking about next year’s rodeo while harkening back to a performance he gave years ago.
The George Strait Twitter account posted:
“As we gear up for the 90th Rodeo Houston next year on March 20th, here’s a #StraitFromTheStage from George’s 14th time at the Houston Rodeo.”
Back in May, the Houston rodeo blasted this headline: “The King is Back!” That’s when George Strait confirmed he’d be performing at the 2022 Houston Rodeo, giving fans 10 months notice that he’d be there. The country icon is set for the final night to bring the event to an exclamation point of a close. The rodeo is so big that it’s conducted at NRG Stadium, home of the Houston Texans.
Believe It: George Strait Made His First Rodeo Appearance As a Sub for Eddie Rabbit
Strait first performed at the Houston Rodeo in 1983. That’s when organizers asked him to sub in for Eddie Rabbit, who was sick with the flu. Next March will be Strait’s 31st appearance.
George Strait last appeared at the rodeo in 2019. Fellow Texans Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen joined him and the concert broke the NRG Stadium attendance record with 80,108 fans. The rodeo said that Strait, in his 30 appearances, has performed for more than 1.7 million fans.
In 2002, George Strait played in front of some special guests, former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara. He dedicated the song Love Without End, Amen to the former first couple. The rodeo back then was held at the Astrodome. Strait told the story of how he spent the night at the White House. And the former president and first lady said Love Without End, Amen, which was about unconditional love from childhood to death, was their favorite song.
In his Wednesday tweet, George Strait linked to his performance of When Did You Stop Loving Me. That’s definitely one of his classics. He released the song in April, 1993 as the third single from his album, Pure Country. The single hit No. 6 on the country charts.
George Strait fans and lovers of country music will remember that Pure Country also was a 1992 movie starring Strait as Dusty Chandler. In the movie, a burned out Dusty walks away to find himself. It also starred Leslie Ann Warren and Kyle Chandler.
Strait even did his own cattle roping in the movie. According to IMDb, Strait was concerned that the movie could negatively impact his singing career. But he eventually made it, after much prodding from Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley’s old manager. It grossed $15 million at the box office on a budget of $10 million.
The album proved to be a huge winner for George Strait. It sold more than any other album he’s released.