George Strait believes that when he makes a record, the most important thing is that he chooses the best songs. That’s regardless if he wrote them or not. So, as his career progressed and he became a superstar, he stopped writing almost entirely, he said. But that changed one night when he got a phone call from his son Bubba.
Strait opened up about his writing process and how he fell out of love with it and then got back into the saddle in a throwback interview with Headline Country. The 2011 interview hits several subjects including his then-upcoming album Here for a Good Time. But most importantly, his excitement about becoming a grandfather for the first time. His son Bubba and his wife Jill would later give birth to a boy named Harvey. They’ve had a girl since then as well.
George Strait Rekindling His Love of Writing
George Strait said he wrote most of the music on his earlier albums. But as his popularity grew, the best songwriters in Nashville were submitting songs. And they were good, he said. It became hard to justify not using them.
“It was good for me, and good for them,” he said.
So, he stopped writing. And the passion to write disappeared. He frequently collaborated with Dean Dillon and others, but he’d rarely write a song by himself, he said.
“For so many years it was absent,” he said. “I just really didn’t have the motivation to write.”
Then his son George “Bubba” Strait Jr. called with a song idea. It was “Arkansas Dave,” a part-fictional retelling of the death of outlaw Dave Rudabaugh. He sang it for his dad over the phone. Senior loved it and decided to included it on his 2009 Twang album.
It also sparked his love of writing again, he said. So, he invited Dillon down to write with them. Their success also helped make Bubba one of the most sought after songwriters in Nashville.
The three of them co-wrote seven songs on George Straits’ Here for a Good Time album.
Strait said he’s really proud of his song for taking up the family business. But working with him and being re-energized to write makes him think about if he’d done things differently.
“Wish I would have taken time to write more in my career,” he said. “But I have no regrets.”