Country fans like to debate on whether George Strait or Alan Jackson is better. They’ve both earned their success over the course of long careers. At the same time, they’ve both recorded some of the most memorable country songs of the last few decades. For many, it’s a tough question. However, I think we can put that aside for the day. After all, it’s AJ’s 63rd birthday. Besides, I think both Jackson and Strait are at their best when they work together.
To celebrate his collaborator and friend’s birthday, George Strait posted a photo of them together. In the picture, they’re hanging out in a recording studio. Strait is sitting in front of the mixing board and Alan Jackson is parked on the board itself. Check out the photo below.
In the caption, Strait sent Allen Jackson birthday wishes by referencing one of the songs they cut together. He wrote, “Happy birthday to the other #DesignatedDrinker.”
Classic Alan Jackson and George Strait Collaborations
Alan Jackson and George Strait have teamed up in several ways over the years. They have shared awards show stages, Strait took Jackson out on his The Cowboy Rides Away Tour, and they’ve recorded some great songs together. We’re going to take a closer look at a couple of those.
Let’s start with the Alan Jackson collab that George Strait mentioned in his birthday post. Jackson featured “Designated Drinker (A Duet with George Strait) on his 2002 record Drive. Jackson penned the song and tapped the Texas Troubadour to help him bring it to life. Put simply, it’s a song about a man drowning his sorrow in booze after his lady left him. However, the strong undercurrent of friendship in the song makes it stand out in the crowd. The final verse sounds like a conversation many of us have had with our buddies. “I hated to call. / I knew you wouldn’t mind at all. / I know you know/ I’d do the same for you.”
Murder on Music Row
“Murder on Music Row” is such a killer song and it fits Alan Jackson and George Strait like a glove. Larry Cordell and Lonesome Standard Time originally recorded the song in 1999. It’s about how pop country killed traditional country music. The original is solid. However, Jackson and Strait really elevate the song to a new level.
George included the duet in his 2000 release Latest Greatest Straitest Hits. He didn’t release it as a single but it still made its way onto country radio. In fact, it cracked the top 40 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It also took home the CMA for Vocal Event of the Year. Listen to it and you’ll understand why.