Carolyn Kruse

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George Strait speaks during a press conference at the 51st annual ASCAP Country Music Awards at Music City Center on November 4, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee.

In honor of the King of Country’s 68th birthday, I bring you… the Strait songs you need in your life.

But first, it must be noted that he has the nickname, “King of Country” for a reason. He influenced a generation (or 2) of country music artists. They have been singing his praises for decades. They dreamed of being him, touring with him, singing with him. Blake Shelton, who had the honor of touring with Strait said, “I don’t know how it is across the rest of the country, but growing up in Oklahoma, George Strait was not just the king of country music. He was the king of the world. His image, his name, his music — everything was larger than life.”

It has been well documented and often heard from Garth Brooks that GS was his #1 and his reason for becoming a singer. At a 2009 ACM Artist of the Decade concert, Garth revealed,  “I wanted to be George Strait.”

Florida Georgia Line’s hot new single, “I Love My Country,” throws homage to the King, lamenting “George Strait singing greats while we turning up, sitting lakeside.” Jake Owen’s current single’s lyrics include, “That George Strait mixtape that was Homemade.” Rascal Flatts’ “Rewind” included the lyrics, “I turn back that radio dial reopen your door. Try to talk George Strait into giving us an encore.” And the list goes on…

But, it’s not like the man is done. His early 2020 Vegas residency shows passed a milestone attendance record. The legend has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best selling music artists of all time, in all genres.

So, how to pick just 5 songs when there are 61 #1 hits, over 30 years , which is more #1 hits than any other artist in a single genre? Easy, going with my gut. The songs you’ve been requesting…forever, and the ones that I personally feel a connection to.

Let’s be Strait with each other, and let’s enjoy some musical vibes from the sultan of suave, George Strait, on his birthday.


1. Troubadour

Because, well, he is… and this song is pure George.  (2008)


2. Check Yes Or No

Since the day we started playing it in 1995 it has been consistently one of our most requested songs. It’s a simple love story about passing a note in school to the girl of his dreams. We just envision this had to have really happened when George met Norma.

3. I Cross My Heart

Without a doubt one of country’s quintessential love songs. Often heard at weddings, this 1992 smash hit was certainly bolstered by Strait’s movie Pure Country, serving as the soundtrack’s lead off single. The movie helped the world to fall in love with George Strait.


4. Give It All We Got Tonight

Strait’s last top 5 hit came in 2012. He said he wanted to record it because of it’s “very unusual melody and very cool phrasing, which I’ve always been drawn to.” (Take a look at the joy in all the country stars’ eyes as they watch their hero perform it.)


5.  Amarillo By Morning 

George Strait’s 2nd #1 hit came in 1983 from his Strait From The Heart album. The song was named “#12 country song of all-time” by CMT. Truly, a classic.


Carolyn Kruse Country 102.5 midday personality 9am-2pm Boston