3 Early George Strait Chart-Toppers to Celebrate the King’s Birthday

George Strait released “Unwound” as the lead single from his debut album Strait Country in 1981. Since then, he has had one of the most influential careers in country music. He spearheaded the neotraditional country movement in the ‘80s and carried it through the ‘90s. Additionally, he holds the record for having more No. 1 singles on any chart in any genre of music. His current count sits at 60.

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More than 40 years after kicking off one of the biggest careers in American musical history, Strait is still releasing new music. Today, we’re going to take a look back at a few of the songs that helped him skyrocket to stardom. Below are three of King George’s chart-toppers from the 1980s.

“Fool Hearted Memory” – George Strait’s First No. 1

Co-penned by Byron Hill and Blake Mevis, “Fool Hearted Memory” was the lead single from George Strait’s sophomore album Strait from the Heart and his fourth single overall. It was the first of many songs to hit the top of the Billboard country chart. The song also appeared on the soundtrack of the 1982 Cold War action/thriller film The Soldier.

“Right or Wrong”—A Nod to Bob Wills

“Right or Wrong” was Strait’s fourth No. 1 single. It was the second single and the title track from his 1983 album.

This song had a long life before Strait recorded it. “Right or Wrong” started as a jazz ballad composed by Arthur Sizemore and Pail Biede in 1921. Several artists covered it over the years. However, only two of those are pertinent to Strait cutting it in the ‘80s. Emmett Miller and the Georgia Crackers released a rendition of it in 1929. Seven years later, Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys released their version making it a Western Swing standard.

Wills was a big part of the early Texas music scene starting in the ‘30s. His music was a major influence on Strait. Below is a video of Strait performing the song with the Texas Playboys.

“Ace in the Hole”—George Strait’s Final No. 1 from the ‘80s

 George Strait released his ninth studio album, Beyond the Blue Neon in 1989. He released four singles from the album—“Baby’s Gotten Good at Goodbye,” “What’s Going on in Your World,” “Ace in the Hole,” and “Overnight Success.” They were his final singles of the decade. The first three went to No. 1. The final single peaked at No. 8.

Written by Dennis Adkins, “Ace in the Hole” became Strait’s 18th No. 1 and his 11th in a row.

Featured Image by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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