George Strait shared a throwback photo with his Instagram followers earlier today. The photo shows a young King of Country walking at the center of a throng of female fans. One lucky police officer leads the group. He’s probably there to keep make sure King George doesn’t get overrun by overeager fans. That couldn’t have been an easy job for him.
George Strait is a man of few words. The caption of the photo reflects this. He says about the photo, “Walkin’, talkin’, and singin’,” before adding the throwback hashtag.
The photo looks to be from the mid-to-late 1980s or early 1990s. At that point in his career, George Strait was already burning up the charts. He had a healthy start on his collection of number-one hit singles. Of which he currently has 60. Strait had already amassed a huge following. He would go on to help shape the world of country music in the coming decade.
George Strait’s First Number-One Single
Now seems like a good time to look back at the single that really kicked off the King’s domination of the genre. “Fool Hearted Memory” was the lead single from his second album, “Strait from the Heart,” and his first number-one song. It dropped in the spring of 1982.
Listening to this track today, it is easy to see why it went to the top of the charts. It features some great fiddle work and a young King George really coming into his own.
While his previous release was solid, he sounds more comfortable here. In this single as well as the rest of the album, Strait sings with more confidence than in his first release. It was almost as if he knew that he has something special on his hands.
The lyrical content of “Fool Hearted Memory” puts it in the same category as great songs like “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” it’s all about pining and drinking to forget. George Strait harnessed not only the classic country sound but also the spirit.
Much like today, country music radio at that time was leaning much more toward pop. Luckily for fans of country music that sounds like classic country music, George Strait and a handful of others burst onto the scene. These neotraditional artists helped to steer the genre away from pop and put it back on its proper path.
Today, Strait continues to do the same thing. He walks the walk, talks the talk, and sings real country music. For this, we appreciate him. Long live the king.