On This Day in 1982 George Strait Released “Fool Hearted Memory”, His First of Many No. 1 Singles

On this day (May 27) in 1982, George Strait released “Fool Hearted Memory” which would become his first No. 1. It was the lead single from his sophomore album Strait from the Heart and the first of many chart-toppers for the Texas native that would become “the King of Country.”

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Strait is one of the most successful artists in country music history. He has sold more than 120 million albums worldwide and has launched 60 singles to the top of the charts. More than that, his influence on the genre is immeasurable. He was one of a handful of traditionalists who took country radio by storm in the ‘80s and ‘90s and helped to swing the pendulum away from pop-infused sounds back to the roots of country and Western. “Fool Hearted Memory” is both emblematic of the sound that made Strait famous and the beginning of his reign over the charts.

[RELATED: 3 Early George Strait Chart-Toppers to Celebrate the King’s Birthday]

Strait released three singles from his 1981 debut album Strait Country. “Unwound” peaked at No. 6. Then, “Down and Out” peaked at No. 16 it would be the last time one of his songs missed the top 10 until 1991. “If You’re Thinking You Want a Stranger (There’s One Coming Home)” was the highest-charting single from his debut. It peaked at No. 3.

George Strait Hits It Big with “Fool Hearted Memory”

Written by Byron Hill and Blake Mevis, “Fool Hearted Memory” was Strait’s fourth single overall and the lead single from Strait from the Heart. It was the first of two chart-toppers from his 1982 sophomore release. The fourth and final single “A Fire I Can’t Put Out” took him back to the top of the country chart in early 1983.

“Fool Hearted Memory” also appeared on the soundtrack for the Cold War action-thriller movie The Soldier. Strait also made a brief cameo in the film. It being in the movie isn’t just a throwaway trivia fact. The Soldier is the reason the song exists.

“I had written a song for a movie called The Exterminator. The same company came to my publisher and wanted a song for The Soldier,” Hill recalled. “But there was more to it. The studio wanted a major label artist to record the song and perform it in the movie. They would only commit to the song if it was released as a single,” he explained.

So the country music world has independent filmmaker James Glickenhaus and his little-known Cold War action flick to thank for George Strait’s first No. 1 single.

Featured Image by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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