Country icon George Strait announces his final tour By Ben Brumfield, CNN
updated 5:22 AM EDT, Thu September 27, 2012
(CNN) -- Country music icon George Strait has announced his final concert go-round but stressed that he does not plan to ride into the sunset after his two-year "The Cowboy Rides Away Tour" ends in 2014.
"Don't think I'm retiring, because I'm not," Strait, who turned 60 this year, said at a press conference Wednesday at the Country Music and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee.
"If a special event happens to come up somewhere I want to do, by all means, I'm going to do it," he said. "I hope I still have a lot of those left in me."
A likely prospect, if his future at all resembles his past.
Strait lays claim to 59 number one hits -- at least one a year for 30 years - and 65 million albums sales, according to the news release announcing his final tour.
Strait broke into stardom with his 1981 album "Strait Country" and has cranked out an album almost every year since -- in some years two, according to his discography on allmusic.com.
To say the country star has been wildly popular would be an understatement: With 13 multi-platinum, 33 platinum and 38 gold records, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, only the biggest names in popular music, the likes of The Beatles and Elvis have outdone him in album sales in the United States.
In recorded music, Strait, with his smooth Texas accent and traditional county style, has even outsold The Rolling Stones stateside, who RIAA lists with 11 multi-platinum, 28 platinum and 42 gold albums.
He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006, a rarity for a still actively recording artist.
The music icon was no stranger to 1960's musical phenomenon known as the British Invasion, which brought The Beatles and The Stones to America, according to Strait's hall of fame biography.
Growing up in a small town south of San Antonio, Texas, it was the music he listened to.
In an almost clichéd country music scenario, Strait's mother took her daughter and left Strait and his brother "Buddy" with their father, a math teacher, to raise, according to the singer's biography on all music.
Strait was a sod buster but also a rock musician. He helped work the family's 2,000-acre ranch and joined garage bands in high school, the hall of famer wrote.
After eloping with his high-school sweetheart, he enlisted in the army, where he became a country singer in a band on his base in Hawaii. He stuck with it when he arrived back home, and while playing with country band "Ace in the Hole," promoter Erv Woolsey, who later became Strait's manager, discovered him and got him a recording contract with MCA. Over 30 years later, the first year of his final tour will kick off and wrap up in his home state of Texas.
"We start out in Lubbock and are going to go up there and play for a bunch of Red Raiders," Strait said. "That's always fun."
A list of the 21 venues for 2013 can be found on the singer's Facebook page. Popular female country artist Martina McBride joins him as guest artist for the first year of the tour. The tour is named after one of Strait's many hits, The Cowboy Rides Away, a sad melody about a woman breaking a man's heart.
"It's a song that we've closed our show with for many years," Strait said, who also shared a memory of playing it for President George Bush, Sr. at Camp David, a week before he left office. Strait felt it was important to quit while he's ahead and not to wait for the public to end the relationship some day, leaving him crooning before dwindling audiences. He also has no intention of preserving himself as a Las Vegas casino act. "I don't feel like I'll ever want to do that," he said.
When the stress of touring has evaporated two years down the road, Strait said he plans to spend more time playing golf and angling with a special partner. "I have a new grandson, so I will certainly be spending a lot of time with him," Stait said. "I'll try to steal him away from his parents for a while and maybe take him fishing." But he couldn't stop repeating that he is not through with music and even announced he will be recording a new album soon. "I think it's been the longest time right now between records for me ever since '81, so I'm pretty anxious to get something out."
He even left a back door open -- well, maybe just cracked -- on the possibility of touring again in the coming years.
"In 2016 I might say 'what a dummy,' " Strait quipped, drawing warm snickers from the audience, "and if that's the case, maybe I'll reconsider, but at this particular time, I'm pretty sure I won't."
It seems that for the cowboy, as his tour theme song says:
"Oh the last goodbye's the hardest one to say,"
And this is where the cowboy rides away."
CNN's Ed Payne contributed to this report
CBS/AP/ September 27, 2012, 7:36 AM
George Strait to retire from the road
George Strait announces The Cowboy Rides Away 2012-2014 final tour on Sept. 26, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. / GETTY (CBS/AP) George Strait is getting ready to hang up his touring hat and park his tour bus for good.
The country music singer announced Wednesday during a news conference at Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum that he will embark on his final tour early next year. Strait will play 21 dates in 2013, then 20 more in 2014 on The Cowboy Rides Away tour. He plans to continue recording music and making occasional live appearances after that, but his road warrior days will soon be over.
Pictures: ACM honors George Strait
"I just don't want to go to the point where I show up and nobody else does, you know?" Strait said in an interview before making the announcement. "It's been great. I've been doing it for 30-some odd years and I've loved it. Sometimes I've not liked it as much. And here lately it's just the walking out onstage part, that's all great. I'm still loving that. It's just the hectic part about touring and traveling and bam bam bam bam. I just feel like it's time for me to try something else."
News of Strait's retirement will come as something of a shock in country quarters. He's so entrenched in the genre he's become part of the bedrock, a landmark to be marveled at repeatedly over the decades.
The 60-year-old Country Music Hall of Fame member from Texas released his first single "Unwound" in 1981, before some of today's top stars were born. Since then he's had 59 No. 1 country singles and is the only artist to score a Top 10 hit in every year of his career. All his albums have gone platinum or gold, selling more than 68 million copies.
"I'm sure I'll miss it. I'm sure I will," Strait said. "How can you not after doing it for so long. It was a hard decision to make. It was tough. I've lost sleep. But I think about midway through this tour I'll realize that, yeah, I did make the right decision. It's just a part of it."
The first leg of the tour will kick off Jan. 18 in Lubbock, Texas, and end June 1 in San Antonio. Dates for 2014 will be announced later. Martina McBride will join Strait on tour in 2013.
Strait said he was nervous about whether fans will come out and see him, but that's rarely been a cause for concern over the years. His live show is one of country's top draws. He's sold more than 4.3 million headlining concert tickets since 1999, according to Pollstar, an average of more than 18,000 per performance.
"It's just amazing the energy that you feel," Strait said about performing live. "I'd say three years ago we played in my hometown of San Antonio for 55,000 people at the Alamodome and walking out there with a crowd like that is just, you're excited, you're scared. There are just so many emotions going on. I still get nervous for things like that until after I sing about the first one or two songs, then I settle down. To try to describe what you feel, it's just a big electric energy feel that's right on top of you."
Strait says he knows he'll miss that feeling, and he reserves the right to return to the road if he wants. But Wednesday he was feeling comfortable with everything.
"I hope people show up because we're going to a lot of the places we've been to for so long, from year to year, and it's kind of like saying goodbye to that," he said. "It's going to be a little emotional."
George Strait takes one last road trip
SEPTEMBER 27, 2012
George Strait is getting ready to park his tour bus. The country music superstar announced Wednesday during a news conference at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum that he will embark on his final tour early next year. Strait will play 21 dates in 2013, then 20 more in 2014 on The Cowboy Rides Away tour. He plans to continue recording music and making occasional live appearances after that. ‘‘I just don’t want to go to the point where I show up and nobody else does, you know?’’ Strait said before the announcement. (AP)
George Strait, in Utah in January, running an auction to benefit The Jenifer Strait Memorial Foundation
Published on Oct 25, 2012 03:42PM
George Strait, who will be performing in Utah in January, is running an auction for shows on "The Cowboy Rides Away Tour" to benefit The Jenifer Strait Memorial Foundation.
The winning bidders will receive a pair of front row seats and Meet & Greet passes to meet Strait.
George Strait & Martina McBride dominate top events rankings
By Justin Goicochea
Tue, Oct 16th 2012 5:05 pm EDT
After spending two weeks in the fifth position, George Strait's Cowboy Rides Away Tour galloped away with the top spot on TicketNews® 'Top Events Rankings for the week ending October 14, 2012.
George Strait is a legend in the world of country music, with career accomplishments that include 59 number one hits, 60 industry awards, over 65 million albums sold, as well as being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. With the recent announcement that The Cowboy Rides Away Tour would be his last, country fans have jumped at the chance to see one of the best performers in the music industry live helping to boost the tour to a power rankings score more than double that of "Book of Mormon" in the second position.
The Cowboy Rides Away Tour is set to run through 2013 and into 2014. Currently, dates have been announced from January through mid-April, making stops across the United States including: Salt Lake City, UT; Las Vegas, NV; Houston, TX; and New Orleans, LA among others. Accompanying Strait on the 2013 tour dates is fellow country star Martina McBride.
George Strait, in Utah in January, running an auction to benefit The Jenifer Strait Memorial Foundation
Published on Oct 25, 2012 03:42PM
George Strait, who will be performing in Utah in January, is running an auction for shows on "The Cowboy Rides Away Tour" to benefit The Jenifer Strait Memorial Foundation.
The winning bidders will receive a pair of front row seats and Meet & Greet passes to meet Strait.
All proceeds benefit The Jenifer Strait Foundation.
The Jenifer Strait Memorial foundation was set up to honor the memory of Jenifer Strait, George’s daughter, and the fund donates money to various children’s charities in the San Antonio and Houston area.
"The Jenifer Strait Memorial Foundation was formed to preserve the memory of our daughter," Strait shared when speaking about the non-profit in a press release. "Even though she was just a child of thirteen years, her love for younger children was amazing. It is for this reason that we chose to help others who might be in need, in her honor."
The auction is currently underway and will be open until Thursday, November 1 at 1 p.m. MT.
CID Entertainment is also offering two exclusive VIP packages at each stop on the tour. The packages include front row tickets, private pre-show, admission to a private exhibition of Strait’s memorabilia, and more.
George Strait Delivering New Single to Country Radio Monday Afternoon
27 October 2012
George Strait recently announced his last major tour, but he promised to continue making music even though he’s retiring from that road. George now is making good on that promise with a brand-new single titled “Give It All We Got Tonight” coming to country radio Monday afternoon. The song was recorded in Nashville with George’s longtime producer Tony Brown.
George says, “The song has a very unusual melody and very cool phrasing, which I’ve always been drawn to.”
“Give It All We Got Tonight” is the lead single from George’s upcoming studio album. He launches his The Cowboy Rides Away tour with Martina McBride on January 18, 2013 in Lubbock, TX.
ABC News Radio
George Strait, ‘Give It All We Got Tonight’ – Song Review
By Billy Dukes
With George Strait announcing a retirement from the road after his next tour, it’s tempting to gush all over his new single ‘Give It All We Got Tonight’ like a school girl going on about a cute new teacher. A wave of nostalgia threatens objectivity, even though Strait will still be recording after 2014. The first song from his upcoming new album can be summed up in three words…
OMG! OMG! OMG!
OK, the country legend’s longtime fans will offer a more considered reaction to the smooth, buttery lyric in ‘Give It All We Got Tonight.’ It’s a rarely matched romancer with more sensory cues than just about everything he’s ever cut. After just a single listen, one breathes in the smell of a summer shower garnished with sweet perfume or rugged cologne.
“Baby fall into my kiss / It should just happen like this / Trust it, so much that there’s no one else but us and / This moment that says it’s so right / Cause that’s all we have in this life / Drink up this love baby / Give it all we got tonight,” Strait sings during the chorus. It’s not his best pure vocal performance, but the imagery used by writers Mark Bright, Phil O’Donnell and Tim James more than fill in any gaps.
“Summer honeysuckle leaking through the rolled down window / We both know when that seat lays back / Anything can happen / So imagine it will never end / Just close your eyes and you can see / That we are where we’re meant to be,” he adds during the second verse.
The warmth of this story begins much earlier, however, as Strait sings with conviction about falling in love for the first time. He’s been married to Norma for decades, yet it sounds like they just drove his old pick up truck down that secluded drive in the woods for the first time last weekend.
“Oh my God you’re something / Like nothing I’ve ever seen / If I’m asleep girl let me dream.” Such simple words, yet somehow they’re so powerful.
In years past, Strait has been unfairly accused of putting his music on cruise control. A more astute fan notices the subtle differences between albums. His best songs are timeless, seemingly capable of becoming a hit in the ’80s, ’90s or 2000s. Add ‘Give It All We Got Tonight’ to a list of his all-time classics. If recorded George Strait is the only George Strait we get after 2014, it’s clear that will plenty suffice.
George Strait's Biggest Blessings: His Wife, Grandchild – and Fishing
By EILEEN FINAN
How does a king count his blessings? If you're George Strait, it's not so easy.
"I can't count them all, there are so many," the country icon tells PEOPLE Country's Kay West, in a rare interview – his first in five years.
Topping the list is his 41-year marriage to wife Norma.
"We love each other and we still like each other," he says of the secret to their relationship's longevity. "We're so blessed that we were able to experience this life together, to support each other through everything, good times and bad."
Those good times include another blessing, the birth of their first grandchild, George Harvey Strait III, in February.
"He's just so special, you just have no idea until it happens," the 60-year-old new granddad says, adding that he's planning to share his love of fishing with the tyke as soon as the little one can hold a pole.
"I love to fish. You can go hours without anything happening, and all of a sudden a big blue marlin comes into the spread and it's cockpit chaos," says Strait, who counts the 600-lb. blue marlin he snared among his finest fishing moments. "My dream is to catch a grander, a 1,000 pounder."
Strait will soon have a little more time to spend on the water after announcing his final tour, "The Cowboy Rides Away," which begins in 2013.
The singer, who has sold more than 65 million albums and scored more than 50 No. 1 hits, admits the decision to leave the road life wasn't easy. "I lost a lot of sleep thinking about it," he says.
Lubbock On Line Concert Review
Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 for Jan. 18th concert.
Strait kicks off final tour with memorable, record-setting concert
- By William Kerns
Singer-songwriter George Strait delivered a consistently entertaining musical thank you to West Texas fans for their past 32 years of support — kicking off his final concert tour Friday night with a two-hour, 29-song performance at the United Spirit Arena. He set a venue attendance record by attracting 15,200 energetic, enthusiastic and loud supporters to his 15th Lubbock concert. Indeed, one doubts that noise levels at past Texas Tech basketball thrillers in the same arena could match the aural bedlam that greeted even Strait’s performance of “Amarillo by Morning.” He and his Ace in the Hole band raised the attendance bar set by the 14,944 fans. a prior record, who witnessed a co-headlining appearance by Strait and Reba McEntire back in March 2011.
Strait’s vocals were consistently strong again on Friday, even when production occasionally, and oddly, found the mix leaning in favor of the band. From beginning to end, he came across as thrilled and appreciative of the colossal turnout. Indeed, Strait climbed on stage at 9:15 p.m., wearing a button-down shirt, traditional Wranglers and a smile as big as Texas. He appeared more animated Friday than at prior Lubbock performances, and delivered an impressive balance of old and new material. In addition, he refused to limit his set to any sort of greatest hits package, instead introducing a number of obvious personal favorites from past albums. An encore found him diving right into an arrangement of “Same Kind of Crazy” that was infectiously fun, if decidedly something other than country. Not surprisingly, his audience almost inserted a sigh of relief amid its cheers when greeting Strait’s follow-up rendition of “All My Exes Live in Texas.”
Strait ably communicated varied fun and sad tunes throughout his show. He also seemed to share more personal background, whether mentioning an early songwriting effort by his own son, Bubba (George Jr.), or getting a kick out of how many of his own albums featured Dean Dillon compositions. Still, he came across as briefly uncomfortable when mentioning, in a near whisper, that friend and songwriter Frank Dycus had passed away.
There was great fun within the video clips shared while singing “Troubador.” “I still feel 25 most of the time,” the song begins, and there followed wonderful clips of a youthful Strait riding, roping and, away from the rodeo grounds, singing — and succeeding everywhere. Lyrics later stated, “I was a young troubador, when I wrote in on a song, but I’ll be an old troubador when I’m gone.”
It remains obvious, however, that Strait can continue to entertain as long as he wants. Mind you, the performer insists that, until last year, he never planned to embark on a final tour, with hopes to keep recording. Subconsciously, that subject was up for debate, though. The proof lies in fascinating 2011 song “I’ll Always Remember You,” which he saved for late in Friday’s show. “You’ve pulled me through some hard times,” he sang to his fans, “Hope I’ve pulled you through a few. And just know that I’ll always remember you.” Strait transformed the final words into a personal promise, prompting a slow turn as he pointed to sections throughout the area.
By the way, if there were empty seats even in the upper rows of the United Spirit Arena, few could make them out. The hall appeared packed, and I remembered when basketball coach Bobby Knight pointed to seats in the upper corner of section 222, and said he wanted the Red Raider basketball team to fill those seats. Strait certainly had no difficulty pulling that off.
Also having a great time were a number of female fans attending in small groups of friends, so excited when cameras captured them singing and swaying while Strait sang, "How 'Bout Them Cowgirls?"
It is only fair that Martina McBride also receive credit for her own wonderful opening performance. She, too, pulled out all the stops, and cameras made sure that fans could see her respond with, “Oh. my God,” when she was honored with a much deserved standing ovation. McBride appeared positively giddy that she had been asked, yet again, to tour with seemingly every country superstar’s favorite country superstar.
Meanwhile, those present at George Strait’s very first concert in his very last tour had to be aware that they had just taken part in something very special.
George Strait set list
1. “Here for a Good Time.”
2. “Ocean Front Property.”
3. “Check Yes or No.”
4. “I Saw God Today.”
5. “Drinkin’ Man.”
6. “A Showman’s Life.”
7. “Love’s Gonna Make It Alright.”
8. “Arkansas Dave.”
9. “Blame It on Mexico.”
10. “Her Goodbye Hit Me in the Heart.”
11. “80 Proof Bottle.”
12. “Honky Tonk Crazy.”
13. “Marina del Rey.”
14. “The King of Broken Hearts.”
15. “Where the Sidewalk Ends.”
16. “The Chair.”
17. How ’Bout Them Cowgirls?”
18. “Stars on the Water.”
19. “Give It Away.”
20. “Livin’ for the Night.”
21. “Amarillo by Morning.”
22. “Give It All We Got Tonight.”
23. “I’ll Always Remember You.”
26. “Same Kind of Crazy.”
27. “All My Exes Live in Texas.”
28. “Folsom Prison Blues.”
29. “The Cowboy Rides Away.”
GEORGE STRAIT BIDS AN EMOTIONAL FAREWELL TO OKLAHOMA CITY
From The Oklahoman's Brandy McDonnell
The King of Country took on the role of “The King of Broken Hearts” Saturday night, bidding an emotional and engaging farewell to Oklahoma City.
George Strait embarked on his “The Cowboy Rides Away Tour” Friday night with a home-state show in Lubbock, Texas. The second stop on his 2013-14 farewell trek was the sold-out Chesapeake Energy Arena, where he has reigned as a top concert draw since the venue opened in 2002.
As usual, Strait put on a frills-free show designed to spotlight outstanding singing, songwriting and musicianship. He and his excellent opening act, Martina McBride, along with their strong respective bands, performed in the round on a massive diamond-shaped stage in the center of the arena floor. Employing just a few light effects and video screens primarily used to show the performers, the concert was a far cry from the high-tech spectacles favored by many contemporary country acts.
With their long, platinum-gilded careers, Strait and McBride could have made their sets veritable hit parades. Instead, the veteran vocalists mixed in playful covers and deep album cuts with the expected fan favorites.
McBride opened her 70-minute crowd-warming set with the feisty toe-tapper “When God-Fearin’ Women Get the Blues” and kept the proceedings sassy with “Wild Angels,” “My Baby Loves Me,” “This One’s for the Girls” and her recent top 20 single “Teenage Daughters.”
“I’m the luckiest girl in the world ‘cause I get to tour with George frickin’ Strait,” declared McBride, who looked sassy in a red leather jacket over black jeans, a black scooped-neck top and tall black boots with skinny skyscraper heels.
The Kansas native told the packed house that one of her favorite parts of planning a tour is choosing cover songs, and she wowed the crowd with her crystalline country version of Etta James’ “At Last” and got fans wailing along with a medley of the Cat Stevens classic “The First Cut Is the Deepest” and Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’.”
“We’re not clapping; we’re snapping. It’s the new thing. All the cool kids are doing it,” she quipped before launching into a lively rendition of “King of the Road,” paying double tribute to her tourmate and the late, great Erick-bred singer-songwriter Roger Miller.
She even broke out a harmonica for her bluesy ballad “Love’s the Only House.” But the songstress was at her best belting soaring love songs and heartbreaking anthems like “Whatever You Say,” “A Broken Wing,” “Concrete Angel” “I’m Gonna Love You Through It” and her big finish “Independence Day,” which not only highlighted her big voice but her skill at delving into the emotion of each song.
The night only got more emotional as Strait and his Ace in the Hole Band took the stage following a pair of video tributes, one featuring country superstars like Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton and Alan Jackson wishing King George well on his farewell tour and another highlighting his myriad career accomplishments.
The Country Music Hall of Famer, 60, got his final Oklahoma City show off to a spirited start with the title track of his 2011 album “Here for a Good Time” and the title cut from his 1987 record “Ocean Front Property,” setting the tone for his career-spanning two-hour-plus set.
“Hello, Oklahoma City. It’s so good to be here tonight,” Strait greeted the crowd, who showered him with deafening praise for virtually every song. “(It’s) probably my last one here and that’s sad because I’m gonna miss you. Thank you for coming and thank you for coming all those years, too.”
There’s a curious formality to a George Strait concert. After he straps on his black acoustic guitar, the superstar performs two songs at one point of the diamond-shaped stage before methodically moving on to the next point and two more songs. Fans in each quadrant inevitably get to their feet as the king moves to their point on the stage.
On his first turn around, Strait offered a mix of hits and cuts from the latter half of his three-decade career: “Check Yes or No,” “ I Saw God Today,” “A Showman’s Life,” “Love’s Gonna Make It Alright” and “Drinkin’ Man,” which he proudly announced he co-wrote with his son Bubba and longtime collaborator Dean Dillon. He quickly proved he still has the worn-leather rich voice and potent country charisma to hold an audience in his thrall.
The Academy of Country Music Artist of the Decade didn’t have to switch up his tried-and-true show format, but he did it anyway on his second rotation around the stage. At each point of the diamond, he pulled up a stool and regaled his fervent fans with tales of his early days recording in Nashville, punctuated with deep album cuts like “80 Proof Bottle of Tear Stopper” and “Honky Tonk Crazy” and classic hits like the gorgeous heartbreaker “Marina del Rey.”
“That brings back some pretty good memories,” said Strait, who was dressed in a pale checked button-down shirt and his usual cowboy boots, black hat and tight Wrangler jeans. “Y’all like those old songs? Me, too.”
He smiled widely and wistfully as he reminisced about his 1980s beginnings, recalling songwriters he worked with and his early plans to incorporate his last name into all his album titles until “luckily I wised up.”
“We’re moving into the ‘90s and old Dusty,” Strait said as he pulled up his stool for the final time to play “The King of Broken Hearts” and “Where the Sidewalk Ends” from his 1992 film “Pure Country.”
The Texas troubadour left the stool behind for his next trip around the stage, which ironically started with his 1985 smash “The Chair,” a favorite that got the whole crowd wailing along and ended in a standing ovation.
“Thank you so much. What a great crowd you are. I’m really, really gonna miss that,” Strait said.
The superstar graciously shared the stage with retired Gen. Leroy Sisco of the Military Warriors Support Foundation, who invited Strait to present an Iraq War veteran and his wife with the ceremonial key to their new house as part of the Homes 4 Wounded Heroes program. Naturally, King George followed up the presentation with the lively “Give It Away.”
Through old favorites like “Amarillo by Morning” to his newest single from his forthcoming album “Give It All We Got Tonight,” from the peppy dance number “Stars on the Water” to the lovely piano ballad “Living for the Night,” Strait seemed determined to savor every moment and emotion. Emotion almost seemed to overwhelm him on the all-too-appropriate recent tracks “Troubadour” and “I’ll Always Remember You.”
“I really wasn’t thinking about retiring or slowing down. I don’t know, maybe it was in the back of mind,” Strait said during the latter, which seemed to bring tears to his eyes. “I just wanted to say how much you guys have meant to me over the years. So I figured the best way to do that was in a song.”
In keeping with tradition, Strait closed his set with his first hit, 1981’s “Unwound.” Although he and his Ace in the Hole Band didn’t leave the stage for long, the crowd welcomed them back for the encore with ear-splitting screams of joy.
“Thank you very much. Yes, we’ll play on,” Strait said, grinning as he strapped his guitar back on and launched into the party-time love song “Same Kind of Crazy,” followed by the hilarious hit “All My Exes Live in Texas.”
He gave his Ace in the Hole Band, which started in 1975 and has backed Strait throughout his career, a prime showcase with a raucous extended cover of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues,” which got the superstar grinning as broadly as his dancing devotees.
Alas, nothing lasts forever, and many fans groaned when they heard the opening of Strait’s customary closer, “The Cowboy Rides Away.” Folks were singing and swaying, waving their arms and holding up their lighted cell phones.
When the ballad was over, Strait gave a big sigh as he made one last circle around the stage. The emotion was obvious in his face as he waved and pointed to the fans, bowed and patted his heart.
“Good night, everybody. Thank you,” he said, spreading his arms wide and basking in one more collective cheer.
And then he was gone, striding off the stage and proving the lyric true: “The last goodbye’s the hardest one to say.”
Still, it was a great ride, King George.
THE COWBOY RIDES AWAY PRESS CONFERENCE 9/26/12
At the Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville TN
I will follow this final tour and
add the best reviews and photos that I find to this page.
This page will be continually updated through George's final concert. Last updated: November 26, 2013
Martina joins George on stage for some crowd pleasing duets.
SAN ANTONIO JUNE 1 TOUR STOP IS A STRAIT SELL-OUT WITH OVER 72,000 TICKETS SOLD IN SIX MINUTES
George Strait Celebrates his 16th Sold-Out Concert Stop at Alamodome on The Cowboy Rides Away Tour; Single, “Give It All We’ve Got Tonight,” Top 15 and Climbing
SAN ANTONIO, Texas. (Saturday, March 9, 2013) – George Strait is in San Antonio this weekend for the final day of competition at his 31st Annual George Strait Team Roping Classic, so it’s only appropriate that the King of Country celebrates another career milestone in the city today— San Antonio’s Alamodome announced their fastest and largest sell-out of over 72,000 tickets sold in just six minutes as part of his final two-year tour, The Cowboy Rides Away Tour. “This is just incredible,” said a nearly speechless Strait. “To hear this just means so much to me, and I can’t even begin to describe it.
I’ve never—in my entire career—experienced this much excitement. Our last show at the Alamodome will be quite a night thanks to the fans and country radio. It’s the perfect way to end the 2013 tour.”
The tour stop will take place on June 1, 2013 and will mark Strait’s eighth performance at the venue since he opened the facility that is affectionately referred to as, “The house they [the city] built for George.”
Strait’s The Cowboy Rides Away Tour placed No. 1 on Pollstar’s Concert Pulse last week, averaging $1.4 million in gross sales per show, topping Justin Bieber, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Dave Matthews Band, and The Who (top 5 respectively).
Strait is currently working on a forthcoming album slated for release late spring. The album will feature his current single, “Give It All We’ve Got Tonight,” which is Top 15 and climbing. The single could mark Strait’s 60th No. 1 on longtime label, MCA Records Nashville.
Fans are encouraged to visit sixtyforsixty.com to help spread the news.
George Strait: The Cowboy Rides Away Tour In Houston
RodeoHouston isn’t the reason George Strait is a superstar. He can thank his aw-shucks demeanor, pure country voice and sturdy catalog for that. But the annual event certainly helped put him on a legendary path.
Strait made his 21st appearance Sunday night to close out RodeoHouston with a concert-only appearance. No bulls. No barrel racing. No mutton bustin’. Just Strait country. It’s part of his farewell The Cowboy Rides Away Tour. “Seems like yesterday it was 1983 over there in the old Astrodome. Lucky for me, Eddie Rabbit got sick,” Strait quipped.
That auspicious ’83 debut helped establish Strait as a musical force. His 2002 performance closed out RodeoHouston in the Astrodome and holds the venue attendance record. He’s one of five entertainers to have performed in front of more than 1 million RodeoHouston fans, and Sunday’s show drew a whopping 80,020 folks, including Pat Green and Kings of Leon bassist Jared Followill. That breaks both the Reliant Stadium and RodeoHouston paid attendance records. (This year’s Go Tejano Day show, featuring Julion Alvarez and Los Invasores de Nuevo Leon, still holds the No. 1 one spot at 75,305 for a performance including rodeo action.)
Earlier in the day, Strait was honored with a rededication ceremony on the Star Trail of Fame and elevated him to a platinum honoree. The George Strait Scholarship was also announced.
Onstage, all he needed was a black cowboy hat, a guitar and that million-dollar smile. Seats surrounded the “lazy man’s” rotating stage, and couples waltzed across the floor and in the aisles.
A trio of tunes — “Here for a Good Time,” “Ocean Front Property,” “Check Yes or No. — set the toe-tapping mood. Strait, as most folks know, isn’t a flashy performer. But he was chatty between songs and had a twinkle in his eye.
“Drinkin’ Man” was a somber highlight, and the feel-good “Love’s Gonna Make it Alright” quickly brought things back up. Opener Martina McBride joined Strait classic-country duets “Jackson” and “Golden Ring,” and they exuded a nice chemistry.
Strait spent a good portion of the show taking fans chronologically through his discography, a master class in country music. He went all the way back to 1981 debut album “Strait Country” for “Blame It On Mexico” and “Her Goodbye Hit Me in the Heart.”
The setlist cycled through “80 Proof Bottle of Tear Stopper,” “Honky Tonk Crazy,” Marina Del Rey” and “A Fire I Can’t Put Out.” Strait moved effortlessly from fiery to laid-back cool. No one does it quite like him.
The cheers grew louder as the evening progressed, and the energy surged through the stadium as he tore through “The King of Broken Hearts” and “Where the Sidewalk Ends.” By the time he mosied on up to “The Chair” much of the crowd was on its feet (and stayed there).
McBride has a tendency to go sentimental on record, but she’s able to send a jolt of electricity through most any song onstage. She closed with “A Broken Wing,” and much of the crowd was singing along.
The Strait show caps a season that hit record-breaking highs (Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan); boasted pop dazzle (Bruno Mars, Pitbull); and sometimes landed with a thud (Toby Keith, Brantley Gilbert).
There are carps, complaints and criticisms every year. (Who’s he? Why her? More classic country! Bring back Tejano music!) But assembling a three-week run that appeals to so many demographics is no easy task. And lots of folks apparently still enjoy it. Total attendance this year was 2.5 million, another all-time record.
And everyone, Texan or otherwise, can agree on King George.
George Strait, 'Love Is Everything': Track-by-Track Review
By Chuck Dauphin, Nashville | May 13, 2013 12:00 PM EDT
In a career that has seen five of his albums win the CMA Album of the Year trophy, a new release from George Strait is always a cause for celebration.
But, in the case of "Love Is Everything," it truly is an album worth giving a listen to, and then, and then again. In fact, it definitely ranks as Strait's best album since 2008's "Troubadour."
What sets the new album apart? Strait and longtime producer Tony Brown have assembled incredible material – which granted, is a given with a Strait album. But, just like with the Troubadour release, the songs here touch a few nerves and hit a few more emotional spots than just merely the ups and downs of a male-female relationship. There's "I Believe," a song co-written by the singer, that puts his faith on display as never before, and the closing "When The Credits Roll," which might give the singer one more chance at a CMA Single of the Year trophy. The lyrics of the latter are quite thought-provoking, concerning what kind of impact one's life has on others.
At the same time, George Strait singing about love has always been a guaranteed hit, and there are several that have the potential to be huge - "Sittin' On The Fence," "When Love Comes Around Again," and "I Got A Car."
All in all, Love Is Everything will be a quick favorite of many of Strait' fans, and if you haven't bought a Strait release in a few years, this might be the one!
1. I Got A Car – Simple and to the point, or so you might think. But the song goes a little deeper as the lyrics roll along. He handles the emotion of throwing it all to the wind rather effectively.
2. Give It All We Got Tonight – Already a top ten hit, the song is pure George Strait romance – and who does it better?
3. Blue Melodies – Strait borrows from the forlorn sound of a Jones or a Haggard on this cut that literally aches by the second.
4. I Just Can't Go On Dyin' Like This – Originally recorded by the Hall of Famer before signing with MCA, fans might remember the original being included on his 1995 Strait Out Of The Box set. Strait slows it down, and gives it more of a mournful feel, to make it sound like something Gene Watson or Moe Bandy could have hit with in 1978.
5. I Thought I Heard My Heart Sing – One of our favorite Strait hits was "Adalida," and the Texan returns to the Cajun well again with a song that has a lot of pep and snap to it. Should be danced to a lot in the Lone Star State.
6. That's What Breaking Hearts Do – The track sounds like something that would have been perfectly in place on one of George's classic 1990s albums like Lead On or Carrying Your Love With Me. The chorus has a definite sing-along quality.
7. When Love Comes Around Again – A hopeful look at love, and giving it another chance once again. It's a cut that could have been included on any of his previous discs.
8. The Night Is Young – The most radio-ready of all the cuts here. This will definitely be a single, as it could be a new weekend anthem – something programmers are always looking for.
9. Sittin' On The Fence – Once you've been burned in a relationship, it's tough to hit the green light again – even if you have found the one, and you know it. Another definite single that should have a lot of staying power on the airwaves.
10. Believe – On this album, Strait shows a few different moods, and it's kind of rare to hear him at such a despondent place. At the same time, that fear is lifted by his faith in a higher power – which helps gets him through the rough waters.
11. Love Is Everything – A well written song about all the emotions that love can make you feel. Strait handles the irony part of this track in wonderful fashion. It's not always roses and sunshine, though sometimes it is. The harmony on this one is particularly first-rate.
12. You Don't Know What You're Missing – Lyrically, Strait fans might think of his prior chart-topper "I Hate Everything," but this cut is a bit more old-school sounding, and the chorus is absolutely heartbreaking. If you've ever had too much time or space on your hands, you will identify.
13. When The Credits Roll – There are many similarities between the careers of George Strait and Conway Twitty. Late in his career, Twitty took a few more chances on songs like "That's My Job" that he might not have done a decade before. The same could be said of Strait and this brilliant masterpiece. It likely wouldn't have worked in 1988, 1996, or 2005...but having had a life to look back on, Strait gives this track one of the best readings of his career. 2014 CMA Song of the Year? All MCA Nashville has to do is release it.
GEORGE STRAIT BECOMES THE FIRST MUSIC ARTIST IN HISTORY TO ACHIEVE 60 NO. 1 SINGLES
GIVE IT ALL WE GOT TONIGHT Tops the Charts
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- (Monday, May 20, 2013) – Country Music Hall of Fame member George Strait became the first music artist in history, regardless of genre, to place 60 songs at the top of the charts when Mediabase named “Give It All We Got Tonight” as this week’s most played song on country radio. The song is the first single from Strait's new album Love Is Everything, released last week. “Give It All We Got Tonight” was written by Mark Bright, Tim James, and Phil O’Donnell.
“I didn’t realize we were making history -- I just hoped we were putting out music that my fans would enjoy,” said Strait. “As always, I’m thankful to the fans and country radio for their support on all 60 of these number one songs as well as my entire career. They are the ones who made this happen.”
Strait fans, radio stations and some of country music’s biggest artists joined the 'Sixty For Sixty' movement at sixtyforsixty.com to accomplish the historic career milestone -- giving George his sixtieth number one single, while he was sixty years old. It came down to the wire, as Strait turned 61 over the weekend (on Saturday, May 18), but in the words of the man himself, “I may be 61, but I don’t feel a day over 60.”
'The amount of support shown by fans, industry and especially country radio to give George his 60th No. 1 single is the ultimate testament in a format that has been defined by his music,' said Royce Risser, SVP Promotion for Universal Music Group Nashville. 'No one is more deserving of this accomplishment than George Strait, the undeniable King of Country Music. Happy Birthday, George!'
Love Is Everything, which Strait co-produced with longtime collaborator Tony Brown, is receiving stellar reviews during its first week of release, including:
'This veteran may hang up his traveling boots, but his consistency as a recording artist isn't slowing down.” -- Associated Press
“In the case of Love Is Everything, it truly is an album worth giving a listen to, and then again, and then again. Strait and longtime producer Tony Brown have assembled incredible material – which granted, is a given with a Strait album. If you haven't bought a Strait release in a few years, this might be the one!” – Billboard
“[George] shows he hasn't lost a step in the studio. (**** out of four).” – USA Today
Strait kicked off 2013 in high gear for the first leg of his The Cowboy Rides Away Tour. Only the June 1 show in San Antonio’s Alamodome remains in the sold out tour. Known as the “house they built for George,” the Alamodome sold out within an astounding six minutes of going on sale. Strait is the highest ranked country act on Pollstar's 2013 Worldwide Tickets Chart. Dates for the second leg of his tour, taking place in 2014, will be announced later this year.
GEORGE STRAIT’S LOVE IS EVERYTHING DEBUTS AT NO. 1
ON BILLBOARD COUNTRY ALBUMS CHART
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- (Wednesday, May 22, 2013) – Love Is Everything, the new album from MCA Nashville recording artist George Strait, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart this week, selling 124,849 units in its first week. That also earned Strait the No. 2 position on the Billboard Top 200. The album contains the hit single “Give It All We Got Tonight,” which Mediabase named as the most played song on country radio this week, earning Strait an unprecedented 60th No. 1 song. Love Is Everything is Strait’s 40th studio album.
“This has been a fantastic birthday week,” said Strait, who turned 61 last Saturday (May 18). “I’m thankful that my fans are excited about the new album and enjoying the music.”
Love Is Everything, which Strait co-produced with longtime collaborator Tony Brown, continues to receive great reviews, including:
“His voice is in superb form and … the album sparkles. Among the highlights is ‘That’s What Breaking Hearts Do,’…. conjuring sensibility similar to Bruce Springsteen’s ‘All That Heaven Will Allow.’ ‘Blue Melodies’ is a reminder of how effectively a heart can be broken by a voice, an acoustic guitar, and lyrics that succinctly summarize when a sentiment is ‘too sad to sing.’” -Boston Globe
“Since he began churning out country hits in 1981…Strait has cultivated a kind of stoic dependability unmatched among his peers. On Love Is Everything, his stirring new album…. [Strait’s] vocals feel newly vulnerable, particularly in ballads like ‘Blue Melodies’… and the gorgeous ‘I Just Can't Go On Dying Like This,’ which Strait wrote back in the mid '70s….He's putting more of himself in the music, too....There's the unusually vivid language in ‘That's What Breaking Hearts Do,’ which Strait co-wrote with his son Bubba…. But neither of those cuts prepares you for ‘I Believe,’ another song by George and Bubba Strait (with Dean Dillon) that appears to be about the shooting last year at Sandy Hook Elementary School. ‘The night's as clear as a big desert sky / But it's hard to see stars with these tears in my eyes,' Strait sings over delicate acoustic fingerpicking, 'Yeah, it's hard not to cry / There's 26 reasons why.’ ‘I Believe’ goes on to ponder ‘broken hearts that'll never beat the same’ and ‘shattered lives still reeling from the pain,’ yet insists in a chorus swollen with strings that ‘there's someone who's looking after me.’ Carefully rendered and unabashed in its optimism, it's as personal as anything Strait has ever recorded. And it's completely devastating. Three stars.” – Los Angeles Times
Strait kicked off 2013 in high gear for the first leg of his The Cowboy Rides Away Tour. Only the June 1 show in San Antonio’s Alamodome remains in the sold out tour. Known as the “house they built for George,” the Alamodome sold out within an astounding six minutes of going on sale. The Country Music Hall of Fame member is the highest ranked country act on Pollstar's 2013 Worldwide Tickets Chart. Dates for the second leg of his tour, taking place in 2014, will be announced later this year.
GEORGE STRAIT’S FINAL THE COWBOY RIDES AWAY 2013 TOUR STOP SWEEPS SAN ANTONIO WITH 73,086 IN ATTENDANCE
Final 2014 Tour Dates to be Announced Late Summer; New Studio Album, Love Is Everything, in Stores Now
Strait and Military Support Foundation’s “Homes 4 Wounded Heroes” Awards 340th Family with a Home
$239,000 Monies Raised Throughout the Tour for The Jenifer Strait Foundation
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – In September of 2012, the King of Country Music, George Strait, announced his final two-year U.S. jaunt, The Cowboy Rides Away Tour, with 21 dates in 2013 and a similar schedule expected for 2014. Tonight, Strait performed his final show of the year to a sold-out capacity crowd of 73,086 attendees at the Alamodome in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas with special guests Martina McBride and Miranda Lambert.
Strait opened admitting, 'I've been thinking about this show all month long, and I have to admit, I was a litte nervous...but I'm not anymore!' The King then played for over two hours on a rotating stage in the center of the Alamodome.
Partway through the show (set list below) Strait broke stride after he performed one of his 60 No. 1’s, 'River Of Love,” and introduced United States Marine Corps Staff Sergeant / E-6 Jose Sanchez to a captivated audience. Sanchez--with his wife Angela--was then recognized as the 339th recipient of the Military Warriors Support Foundation’s (MWSF) “Homes 4 Wounded Heroes” (H4WH) program. Then, in celebration of the last tour stop of 2013, Strait recognized the Faulkenberry family on stage—U.S. Army SFC John Faulkenberry with wife Sarah—as the final awardees (340th recipient through the overall program; 23rd of the tour) to receive a key directly from Strait. Both families received homes in the San Antonio area.
The 2013 H4WH home presentations were made possible through Strait’s longtime friend, Lieutenant General Leroy Sisco, U.S. Army (Retired) who shares, “Our foundation is thrilled at this opportunity to work with such an incredible patriot as George Strait and with his help we have helped change the lives of 23 heroes and their families by awarding 100% mortgage-free homes on ‘The Cowboy Rides Away’ tour.”The homes made available for the program are donated to MWSF through partnerships and, as unveiled at Strait’s first 2013 show in Lubbock, were awarded to at least one service member at every tour stop on The Cowboy Rides Away Tour.
In addition to the homes, all the families presented homes from Strait and H4WH also received groceries for a year from Walmart, a flat screen television, and Strait's CD collection.
In addition to the charitable contributions through H4WH, Strait also partnered with CID Entertainment to facilitate a charity auction at every 2013 tour stop including front row Troubadour Package tickets, a meet-and-greet with Strait, and more. After the final 2013 tour stop in San Antonio, the program has raised $239,000 for The Jenifer Strait Foundation. Additionally, CID Entertainment abetted sales of 7,777 VIP tickets with San Antonio including a travel package with over 250 participating fans.
Clearly fans can't get enough of the King as Strait recently celebrated his 60th No. 1 single, “Give It All We Got Tonight” from his chart-topping debut, Love Is Everything, making him the first ever artist to notch 60 No. 1 MediaBase singles in any genre. The New York Times touts that on Love, “he sings with a pulpy richness” and Los Angeles Times proclaims his 40th studio album is “carefully rendered and unabashed in its optimism, it's as personal as anything Strait has ever recorded.”
For more information on MWSF, please visit www.militarywarriors.org. For more information on George Strait, please visit www.georgestrait.com.
Martina McBride and Miranda Lambert were on stage before the King of Country Music in San Antonio, Texas June 1, 2013
George Strait San Antonio, Texas June 1, 2013 Set List:
“Here For A Good Time”
“Ocean Front Property”
“Check Yes Or No”
“I Saw God Today”
“Love’s Gonna Make It”
“They Call Me The Fireman”
“Jackson” and “Ring Of Fire” with Martina McBride
“Blame It On Mexico”
“80 Proof Bottle Of Tear Stopper”
“Honky Tonk Crazy”
“Marina Del Rey”
'King Of Broken Hearts'
'Where The Sidewalk Ends'
“River Of Love”
“Give It Away”
“How ‘Bout Them Cowgirls”
“Amarillo By Morning”
“Give It All We Got Tonight”
“I’ll Always Remember You”
“Same Kind Of Crazy”
“All My Ex’s Live In Texas”
“Folsom Prison Blues”
“Cowboy Rides Away”
2013 The Cowboy Rides Away tour stops included the following:
Jan 18 | United Spirit Arena | Lubbock, Texas
Jan 19 | Chesapeake Energy Arena | Oklahoma City, Okla.
Jan 25 | EnergySolutions Arena | Salt Lake City, Utah
Jan 26 | Idaho Center | Nampa, Idaho
Jan 31 | Sleep Train Arena | Sacramento, Calif.
Feb 1 | SaveMart Center | Fresno, Calif.
Feb 2 | MGM Grand Garden Arena | Las Vegas, Nev.
Feb 15 | Xcel Energy Center | St. Paul, Minn.
Feb 16 | Alerus Center | Grand Forks, N.D.
Feb 22 | First Niagara Center | Buffalo, N.Y.
Feb 23 | XL Center | Hartford, Conn.
Mar 1 | Thompson-Boling Arena | Knoxville, Tenn.
Mar 2 | Rupp Arena | Lexington, Ky.
Mar 17 | Reliant Stadium | Houston, Texas
Mar 22 | Bi-Lo Center | Greenville, S.C.
Mar 23 | Greensboro Coliseum | Greensboro, N.C.
Apr 5 | The Pit | Albuquerque, N.M.
Apr 6 | Pan American Center | Las Cruces, N.M.
Apr 12 | Verizon Arena | N. Little Rock, Ark.
Apr 13 | New Orleans Arena | New Orleans, La.
Jun 1 | Alamodome | San Antonio, Texas
Strait News August 2013:
» March 14th and 15th are the George Strait Team Roping Classic dates for 2014. » Press Conference from Dallas' Texas Stadium Scheduled by George: Strait plans on offering details concerning next year’s "Cowboy Rides Away" concert tour on September 9th. You’re invited too, as the press conference will stream live beginning at 10 a.m. on George’s website.
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This is an important award for George because it recognizes him for his on- stage performance & touring success. He is the ONLY COUNTRY artist to receive this award. ~ Linda
»November 4th, 2013 ~ Billboard's Legend Of Live Award
The King of Country will be crowned with Billboard's highest accolade: George Strait will be honored with the Legend Of Live Award at the 10th annual Billboard Touring Awards, to be held Nov. 14th at The Roosevelt Hotel in New York. Strait -- who has forged a reputation as a record-breaker -- becomes the first country artist to receive the trophy, which recognizes individuals or bands who've made lasting contributions to live music and the touring business. Beyond success at the box office, the honor rewards professionalism and steadfast commitment to the art and craft of live performance and the fan experience at concerts.
Strait says he's thrilled to be acknowledged for his contributions to live music. "There's nothing more rewarding than performing in front of a sold out, pumped-up, loud crowd," Strait notes. "That's what keeps us coming back. I love it." During his stellar career, Strait has sold more than 44.5 million records (according to Nielsen Soundscan), has 33 different platinum or multi-platinum albums to his name, and has landed a staggering 44 No. 1 songs on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart – more than any other artist in history.
The country superstar also remains the only artist across all genres to have a top ten hit every year for 30 years.
Nearly 40 years into his touring career, Strait remains one of the most in-demand headliners on the road. He'll round-up his touring career with a sold-out tour, "Cowboy Rides Away," which will wind its way through arenas and stadiums in 2013-2014. "George Strait's fans span generations, and he is committed to making his live shows the best possible experience for fans and, as such, is uniquely deserving of this award," comments Billboard Editorial Director Bill Werde. "From his days in the Texas honky-tonks, through the creation of country music touring festivals in stadiums, and his top-shelf, professional touring strategies and production, George Strait's talent and style transcends musical trends. Billboard is honored to name George Strait as our first country music Legend Of Live."
To further celebrate the veteran country star's achievements, Billboard's Aug. 24 issue carries a rare interview with Strait, celebrating his career all the way through from his early days to his upcoming final shows. The tribute issue also features in-depth stories on Strait's record-setting success as a recording artist and touring performer with comments from his label, manager, promoter, producer, and songwriters; and favorite Strait memories from a host of Nashville stars.
On the night of the Annual Billboard Touring Awards, Strait will join an elite circle of previous participants which includes Sir Elton John, Journey, promoter Michael Cohl, promoter Jack Boyle, agent Frank Barsalona, the Allman Brothers Band, Ozzy Osbourne, Rush, and 2012 honoree Neil Diamond.
The 2013 Billboard Touring Awards honor the concert industry's top artists, venues and professionals for the year, primarily based on the Billboard Boxscore chart and actual box office performance between Oct. 1, 2012 and Sept. 30, 2013.
The awards reception, in association with Shell Rotella, is the culmination of the two-day Billboard Touring Conference, which takes place Nov. 13-14 at Roosevelt Hotel in NYC.
»November 4th, 2013 ~ ASCAP Founder's Award
George Strait will be honored at this year's ASCAP Country Music Awards with the prestigious Founder's Award. With a long history of hits and contributions to molding country music, he (along with so many songwriters and composers before him) will be given the honor at the invitation-only, black-tie gala on Nov. 4 at the Music City Center in Nashville. Many other songwriters and publishers behind this year's most performed songs from April 1, 2012 through March 31, 2013 will be in attendance receiving honors.
“George Strait is a living legend whose revitalization of classic country music defined a generation of country singers and continues to inspire songwriters today,” ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams said in a statement. “He has topped the charts more often than any Country artist in history, captivating millions while remaining true to his style and love of tradition."
He added, "‘King’ George is a genuine musical pioneer whose influence on country music is immeasurable, and we are honored to recognize his extraordinary career with the ASCAP Founder’s Award.”
Sept. 2013 Country Music Nation
Country music icon George Strait will join the Dallas Cowboys on the field Sunday night, Sept. 8, when they open the season against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium. Strait will serve as an honorary captain for the coin toss prior to kickoff. This will make Strait’s second visit to the home of the Cowboys, having performed there in 2009 as the first event ever held at the venue.
The following day, Monday, Sept. 9 Strait will hold a press conference from the stadium regarding his 2014 The Cowboy Rides Away Tour that will be streamed live on GeorgeStrait.com andYouTube.com/georgestrait beginning at 11 a.m. CDT. (George was there, and the Cowboys won!)
GEORGE STRAIT GETS CMA NOMINATION
Sept. 10, 2013, Nashville, TN.--George Strait was nominated as a finalist for the Country Music Associations 'Entertainer of the Year' Award this morning. George Strait was nominated for a CMA Award for the 82nd time, the most of any country music performer ever. He has been nominated for the top award 18 times and last won the award in 2009. He also won the 'Entertainer of the Year' awards in 1989 and 1990.
George Strait Cowboy Rides Away 2014 Tour Dates:
1/09 – Bossier City, La.
1/10 – Austin, Texas
1/17 – Omaha, Neb.
1/18 – Kansas City, Mo.
1/30 – San Jose, Calif.
1/31 – San Diego, Calif.
2/01 – Las Vegas, Nev.
2/07 – Phoenix, Ariz.
2/08 – Los Angeles, Calif.
2/14 – Auburn Hills, Mich.
2/15 – Columbus, Ohio
2/28 – Philadelphia, Pa.
3/01 – Newark, N.J.
3/07 – Louisville, Ky.
3/08 – Chicago, Ill.
3/21 – Nashville, Tenn.
3/22 – Atlanta, Ga.
4/04 – Wichita, Kan.
4/05 – Denver, Colo.
4/11 – Portland, Ore.
4/12 – Tacoma, Wash.
4/18 – Des Moines, Iowa
4/19 – Tulsa, Okla.
5/23 – Baton Rouge, La.
5/31 – Foxborough, Mass.
TBD – Dallas, Texas
George Strait Accepts ASCAP Founder's Award
Josh Kear Named Organization's Songwriter of the Year
November 5, 2013; Written by Edward Morris, CMT News
Garth Brooks (left), Lee Ann Womack, George Strait,<br>Paul Williams and John Titta
Photo Credit: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
From Brandy Clark's opening song to Garth Brooks' closing medley, the ASCAP Country Music Awards show Monday (Nov. 4) was an evening of musical delights.
In addition to honoring the writers of 34 standout songs from the past year, the performance rights organization declared Josh Kear its songwriter of the year on the strength of his having co-penned such hits as "Drunk on You," "Blown Away," "(Kissed You) Good Night," "Two Black Cadillacs" and "Dancin' Away With My Heart."
"How Country Feels" and "Drunk on You" tied for song of the year recognition, and Warner Chappell Music copped the publisher of the year trophy for administering the hits "Better Than I Used to Be," "Come Wake Me Up," "Fly Over States," "Good Girl," "The Only Way I Know" and "Why Ya Wanna."
But the brightest point in the ceremonies came near the end when fellow headliners took the spotlight to pay respects to the durable and ever-current George Strait. He was presented ASCAP's Founders Award for his "immeasurable" influence on country music.
Strait's achievements, including scoring the most No. 1 singles of any country artist to date and his capacity to fill stadiums and arenas, have earned him the nickname "King George."
The first to tip his hat to Strait was Alan Jackson. Addressing the honoree directly from the stage, Jackson confessed that so many Strait hits swirled through his head, he had great difficulty choosing just one to sing to him.
He wound up with one he said had been on his set list since he was a beginner, singing in bars in his native Georgia.
"It was the kind of song that made me want to sing country music," Jackson explained.
With that, he launched into "Let's Fall to Pieces Together," Strait's chart-topper from 1984 (which was five years before Jackson would make his own major label breakthrough.)
Lee Ann Womack, a frequent touring partner with Strait, serenaded him with "Troubadour," his Top 10 hit from 2008.
There was a brief pause in the proceedings so the audience could watch a congratulatory video from former President George W. Bush, who proclaimed, "George Strait's talents transcend generations."
To illustrate that assertion, he noted that Strait had been a White House favorite both through his father's presidency and his own. Then he delivered what was surely the most memorable line of the evening.
"Being called 'President George' is OK," he drawled, "but 'King George' has a mighty fine ring to it."
To round out the tribute, Brooks, unannounced, strode onstage to lead the house band through snippets of "Unwound" (from 1981), "Amarillo by Morning" (1983) and "The Fireman" (1985), none of which, oddly enough, ever reached No. 1 in spite of the iconic status they've all since attained.
»On November 6th, 2013 at the CMA Awards in Nashville George Strait was named the CMA Entertainer of the Year!
Sometimes the old and new guard in country music don't always see eye to eye. But in the end, the biggest winners at the 47th annual CMA Awards tonight (Nov. 6) came from totally different generations.
George Strait walked away with the big prize, the Entertainer of the Year award, an acknowledgement of his incredible contributions to the format and his ability to still sell out massive tours with the best of them. "This means the world to me. I appreciate it." It was George's third EOTY win and first since 1990. For three decades George has given his fans quality Country Music, it was fitting that he be named Entertainer of the Year, he earned it.