STRAIT Fever News:
»From Mix Magazine: July 2014 Editor's Note: Living Among Legends, Jul 1, 2014 9:00 AM, Mix, By Tom Kenny »I have a thing for heroes, and I love a good story. I can read for months and talk for days on the likes of Ernest Shackleton, John Wesley Powell, or Lewis and Clark. I recognize the genius in Michelangelo, Gauguin and Banksy, or Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan and Michael Jackson. Don’t get me started on Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali or Michael Jordan.
And yet there is a central paradox in the making of a legend: When you live through the time they are creating their legend, how do you really know? Today, with TMZ, Buzzfeed and a “24-hours-and-shrinking” news cycle, it’s even harder to separate true greatness from the hype. This past month, in putting together the July issue, I felt like I got to walk with a few legends.
First, George Strait, our cover boy. When people name country music legends, they might call out Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, George Jones, Patsy Cline, Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson and a few others. Strait can walk tall beside any of them, whether you look at his career from the standpoint of raw numbers, as in sales and chart-toppers, or from the mutual loyalty and affection with fans—for more than 35 years.
I freely admit to being a Johnny-come-lately regarding Strait. I had heard some of the hits over the years, but didn’t really get to know the magnitude and importance until last year, when I joined the first leg of The Cowboy Rides Away tour for three nights as a guest of John and Martina McBride, who opened for him through 2013. I did my research, listened more deeply, then experienced the performance—back to back to back. Incredible. I recognized true greatness as it rocked the stage and saw true recognition of that greatness in the eyes of 19,000 fans each night. On June 7 of this year outside of Dallas, in his home state of Texas, Strait played his final show on his farewell tour, in front of 104,739 fans.
The bonus is that Strait’s a genuinely nice guy, with a 43-year marriage to his high-school sweetheart, Norma, a penchant for supporting charities, and a life that straddles the ranch and the studio/stage. He’ll be back. Not for a full tour, maybe, but surely on records and special TV events and one-offs. It’s been an amazing career so far, absolutely the stuff of legends.
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Notes from Linda:
»A DVD of the 2014 George Strait Team Roping Classic is now avilable for purchase from RodeoVideo.com »George Strait, Entertainer of a lifetime, has completed his "Cowboy Rides Away" tour, the final structured tour of his career, and is now retired from the road. No more long structured tours for him, no more traveling, being away from his family. He gave his fans two years to get to concerts to say good-bye during his "Cowboy Rides Away" tour which ended in Arlington Texas June 7th, at Cowboys AT&T stadium, with an attendance of 104,793. His concerts were long and emotional, with George being in no hurry to leave the stage. He took his time to thank his fans for 32 years of love, appreciation, and dedication. The sold out shows received exceptional reviews through out the two years of the tour. I hope you managed to get to a few concerts. George reminded his fans all along that although he will no longer be touring, he is by no means "gone." He signed with MCA for five more albums of Strait music in the years ahead. George says he is looking forward to writing, and will select, and choose his appearances after a year off during which he will complete his next album. So, be assured, the best is yet to come from George Strait. »The best reviews and pictures from this last tour will be posted on this Straitfever Website, on the "Cowboy Rides Away" link, page two, which should be released and online soon. »I am continually updating "The Cowboy Rides Away" 2014 site, adding the second page/website, and I am in process of creating Page two, the continuing page to "The Man," segment.