country-music fans, does George Strait still garner favor in your mind?

I ‘get’ that country-music is an “acquired taste”, so I’m hoping to avoid the “George who?” comments, from the “Facebook? it sucks… that’s why I’m glad I never joined Facebook” crowd, that I see every so often :slight_smile:

For those of you who consider yourself George Strait (or just general country-music) fans - what is his appeal? One of the biggest criticisms of him is that he “just stands up there and sings”. No big stage shows, no Peter-Pan’ing around the arena, etc.

However, he still sells out just about every concert he plays (no, I don’t have a ‘cite’ for that, but I’ve been in attendance a time or two, and the crowd pretty much goes nuts for him).

Is it his voice? Is it the lyrics to the songs he sings? Is it “the way he carries himself”? What exactly is it, that “does it” (or “doesn’t do it”) for you?

I’m not a huge George Strait fan, but compared to the pap and dreck I hear on country radio, he’s excellent.

“Just standing up there and singing” is what I expect a musician to do. I don’t want to see lasers and dancers and props and most importantly, hear lip synching. Just standing up there and giving a good performance is praise-worthy in my opinion!

I’m not especially a fan of George Strait, but I think his appeal is that he sings real country music. Traditional country music fans have long been plagued by pop and rock-lite music infiltrating their genre. Sometimes they’re unreasonably uptight about it (Charlie Rich), but there was valid concern that traditional country music was being pushed out. George Straight, followed by guys like Ricky van Shelton, later Alan Jackson, and to a lesser extent Clint Black, played a big part in keeping old school country music alive and fresh.

Ricky van Shelton may be one of the traditional guys who was pushed out by the new guard, though he had some personal issues and a label conflict as well. Black took some time off. Alan Jackson mixes it up quite a bit more than Strait, though I think the traditionalists still like him a lot better than most of the other guys on the radio. George Strait is the most traditional country of the neo-traditionalists still getting any airplay. He also is incredibly good at picking songs that are country, appealing, and appropriate for him.

As for just standing there, that’s what traditional country music is about. Garth Brooks has taken some heat from old country music fans for his on-stage antics. Hank Williams didn’t run around, why does Brooks have to? Strait’s from Texas, he wears a hat, and he dresses like someone’s dad. There’s no sense he’s in any way phony. He just stands there and sings because that’s what everyone’s there to see. It isn’t at all an issue with the demographic he’s after.

Basically, I think he came along at the right time, has talent, seems genuine in a sea of fakes, and has incredible business and musical sense. That’s his appeal, and his longevity.

I haven’t listened to country for years, but when I did, George was a favorite. missouri65 laid out the reasons for his appeal. For me, it’s his smooth, natural voice and his song choices. He sounds like he believes what he’s singing. He doesn’t resort to patriotic jingoism or smarmy “family” songs. Or at least he didn’t 30 years ago.

I like(d) van Shelton, Black, and Jackson too. Great voices, good song choices. Dean Dillon is another good one from that generation, but he never made it big.

Nitpick: Ricky Van is his first name, like Billy Bob or Jimmy Joe. Shelton is his last name.

I had to correct that a lot when I was a newspaper copy editor and he was very popular.

Carry on.

He may “just stand there and sing,” but that didn’t keep him from winning a few Entertainer of the Year awards. In 2009, he was named Artist of the Decade by the ACM. I agree that it’s all about WHAT he stands there and sings and how he sings it–he’s had 59 number one hits. That’s more than any other artist in any genre.

(Of course, the fact that he’s really HOT doesn’t hurt, either! :))

He’s an old reliable like Alan Jackson. Decent songs, not much pablum. To me he’s just there in the background of country music, I really don’t know anything about him.

Jamey Johnson, Miranda Lambert, and Johnny Cash are better to me though. Jamey wrote some of George Straits songs, like “Give it Away.”

I’ve long said that the three most important artists in “modern” country music were/are:

Hank Williams: Took a somewhat “niche” musical form and popularized it amongst the masses

George Jones: Took up where Hank left off and spent the next few decades defining country music

George Strait: Came along and perfected country music
As a kid growing up, I was “forced” to listen to country, because that’s all my dad would listen to on the radio, and I hated it. I was a rock & roller, and in high school I turned into a metalhead. Then, in 1986 or '87, when I was 20, I got in my car one day, turned on the AM radio, and discovered that the only AM rock station in town had abruptly and without warning changed its format to country music. I was upset, of course, but I left the dial where it was because the only other AM options were all “talk radio”. And that’s how I first heard George Strait. I think the song was “Amarillo by Morning”, and I was hooked.

Since then, I don’t think I’ve heard a George Strait song I didn’t like. Like somebody else said, he’s got a remarkable talent for picking just the right songs, and delivering them perfectly. It also helped that Strait’s vocal range matched mine almost perfectly, which meant that I could sing his songs remarkably easily. And liking George Strait led to my learning to appreciate other country artists (notably, George Jones, one of “my dad’s music” singers I had previously ignored; I came to the conclusion that “He Stopped Loving Her Today” is still the greatest country song ever written).

That about sums it up for me, too.

It’s also worth noting that Strait is “real”. When he sings about cowboys, well, he’s been a cowboy.

from Wikipedia:

“He grew up in Pearsall where his father was a junior high school mathematics teacher, who owned a two-thousand acre (8 km²) cattle ranch outside of Big Wells, Texas.”

“Soon, his band was given the opportunity to record several Strait-penned singles including “That Don’t Change The Way I Feel About You”, for the Houston-based D label. However, the songs never achieved wide recognition, and Strait continued to manage his family cattle ranch during the day in order to make some extra cash.”

“Strait enjoys hunting, fishing, skiing, playing golf, and riding motorcycles. Along with his son, he is a member of the PRCA and partners in team roping competitions. George and his elder brother Buddy, who died in April 2009, hosted the annual George Strait Team Roping Classic, in which they competed against some of the best team ropers in the world.”

I agree. There are lots of songs I’d nominate for #2, but that’s #1, by a [country] mile.

I just started listening to George Strait. I grew up listening to rap music so it couldn’t be more further from my musical tastes but recently I was watching the film “Pure Country” which has a George Strait soundtrack and found the songs really good.

“King Of Broken Hearts” is the best one on it. I think he’s successful because as someone else noted, he chooses some extremely well written songs that are heartfelt, and he really sells the lyrics with his voice. I like it because I can relate to the songs. In comparison I heard some country song on youtube the other day “you can shoot to thrill, dress to kill, try to seal the deal, whatever makes you feel like a Rock STAAARR!!” I’m guessing that’s what people mean by neo-country, and I’m not a fan of that style.

Back in the 60’s I hated Country Music. But a late-night Houston radio show played arty European music, US folk music–& Johnny Cash. So I became a Cash fan. Searching out the roots of Folk led to Old Timey & Bluegrass–& the Blues. Then there were the Burritos & that whole scruffy Country Rock crew. Along came the Cosmic Cowboy days–when Asleep At the Wheel moved to Texas because Texas Swing was still alive & well here. And I know I’ve mentioned meeting Floyd Tillman…

I’m a fan of many types of Country Music but long ago lost my taste for Country Radio. However, George Strait was not the reason! He’s always done good, honest Country–with a bit of Western Swing. I believe he’s often recorded with his hot Ace In The Hole Band rather than always using the Nashville Guys.

Then, there’s Murder On Music Row. Yup–ol’ George is one of the good ones. Playing on Rhapsody right now. Yee haw!

(I don’t know that “He Stopped Loving Her Today” is the greatest Country song–but George Jones’ recording is one of the best performances recorded in any genre, ever. George & Alan mention him in the linked tune–he’s “Possum.”)

Shoot. I knew it looked wrong, but thought I was misremembering.

I was going to say that Bill Anderson wrote “Give It Away,” but it looks like Anderson and Johnson co-wrote it, along with Buddy Cannon. Weird.

I am not the biggest country music fan in the world but I do like the great artists of the genre and George Strait is right at the top of that list. As noted, he is genuine plus he is a truly great singer. Being really good looking or so I am told doesn’t hurt either.

Watch his stage presence on this rendition of Amarillo By Morning for example and tell me that isn’t a real performance even if it is low key. That is what he does consistently.

Flash in the pan stars on shows like American Idol could only dream of commanding such an audience over decades without resorting to gimmicks or fads but George Strait pulls it off better than just about anyone. Only Elvis and Johnny Cash can match his stage presence just being themselves with nothing else involved.

I am not a country music fan. The several years I worked at a country music radio station were near constant torture. But I do like George Strait and I would pay to see him in concert.

George Strait is still recording basically the same style of music he was recording in 1981, with the production values updated a little. People who like good solid country music have a good place to turn with him. Country is now in at least its third generation past when he made his debut, and his consistent quality attracts people in the same way George Jones did the generation before him.

Jones did have a definite style, didn’t he? I remember writing a song back in my 20s, and the first time I sang it all the way through I thought, "Holy crap, I wrote a George Jones song!’