WATCH: George Strait Reminisces on Cowboy Experiences that Led to ‘Amarillo By Morning’

by Emily Morgan

Growing up in rural Texas, George Strait knows a thing or two about cowboy culture. 

As a kid growing up in the small town of Pearsall, Texas, Strait spent his summers and weekends working at his father’s family cattle ranch near Big Wells, Texas. 

Unlike many country singers that merely look the western part, George Strait walked the walk, learning ranching skills from a young age. 

In a clip posted to Twitter on Thursday, George Strait spoke about how the cowboy lifestyle influenced his award-winning music. 

“I always like to sing about the cowboy way of life, Strait said. “It’s influenced my music, cutting songs like “Amarillo By Morning,” “Cowboy Rides Away,” and “Cheyenne.”

Besides his upbringing, George Strait is unique because he became a highly successful country music singer without moving to country music’s iconic city: Nashville. 

While spending time ranching in Texas, he signed with a record label and made a successful music career living in the lone star state. 

George Strait’s Cowboy Influence In Music

Songs such as “Amarillo By Morning” have become one of country music’s most iconic anthems. It’s blue-collar, working man theme helped propel George Strait into his long-standing title of “The King of Country Music.”

Penned by Terry Stafford and Paul Fraser in 1983, the song tells the story of a lone rodeo cowboy and his life on the road.

“They took my saddle in Houston, broke my leg in Santa Fe.

 Lost my wife and a girlfriend somewhere along the way. 

Well, I’ll be looking for eight when they pull that gate. 

And I hope that judge ain’t blind. 

Amarillo by morning, Amarillo’s on my mind,” 

Despite the gritty backdrop of a rugged cowboy’s life, it’s a beautifully prophetic song that’s long been a country music standard. 

In addition, “Cowboy Rides Away” serves as the perfect song for any moment, even if you don’t spend your time riding bulls and herding cattle.  

“We’ve been in and out of love and in-between and now we play the final showdown scene.

And as the credits roll, a sad song starts to play, and this is where the cowboy rides away.

And my heart is sinkin’ like the setting sun, setting on the things I wish I’d done.

Oh, the last goodbye’s the hardest one to say. This is where the cowboy rides away. Oh, the last goodbye’s the hardest one to say. This is where the cowboy rides away.”

George Strait is a Texan through and through— evident in his songwriting, attire, and lifestyle. With a career spanning more than 30 years and a catalog that includes 60 No. 1 singles and 33 platinum or multi-platinum-selling albums, he’s never strayed from his roots. 

George Strait’s a rarity in the industry: he’s never changed his look nor his musical style. Yet, he doesn’t have to follow trends. He’s naturally cool with a magnetism impossible not to see and hear.