It’s always going to be hard to make a George Strait songs list: he has 60 #1 songs, and a lot of his classics didn’t even hit the top spot on the singles charts. And the story isn’t over: he’s reportedly working on new music at the moment.
Many of these songs go back to my childhood and I have personal memories of several of them; some memories are from the first time I saw George Strait in concert, some are from listening to his songs in high school and I even have a custom memory from the one and only time I got to interview him in person (he’s notorious for not doing interviews so I feel lucky that I had one). Most country fans have memories to go with his music, of course.
These songs are timeless; at the same time, I got back that feeling that I had, the first time I heard each song. That’s the mark of a great song, and George has as many of them as any country artist, ever.
For Strait’s 69th birthday today (5/18), we’re looking at his 45 best songs, but let us know what you think of our picks.
45 of George Strait’s Best Songs
The singer recalls being sent home one day from school for fighting when he was a child, and he tells his father what had happened, expecting punishment. Instead, his father tells him that fathers always love their children and that such love is a "love without end, Amen."
A solid number one released in October 1990 as the third and final single from his album ‘Livin' It Up.’
A breakup song, where Strait sings about how he and his lover have agreed to mutually end their relationship because they weren't meant to be with each other.
Strait's second single to country radio; it is from his debut album ‘Strait Country,’ it peaked at number 16 on the United States Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.
The second single from his album "Lead On." The song is about a man who proposes to his girlfriend, but she rejects him. In a play on the proverb, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink," the woman tearfully explains that, despite her best efforts, she is simply not in love with her boyfriend.
"Carrying Your Love with Me" was nominated for Best Male Country Vocal Performance at the 1998 Grammy Awards.
A smooth yet fun song. George’s 34th Number One single on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
This touching song is about a father, who recalls his son describing the activities of his life.
There's a difference between living and living well, and the difference is when you're with your significant other. Beautifully said.
These lyrics! The protagonist of the song is in a bar and runs into a man who hates everything due to his now ex-wife leaving him for another man. It turns out the protagonist has come into the bar after an argument with his own wife. After he has heard the man's story, he calls his wife and says he is coming home, and they are going to work out their differences.
This song became Strait's 40th Number One single on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, tying the record held at the time by Conway Twitty.
The song discusses things that naturally happen. He goes on to say that the love he has for his significant other comes naturally.
Co-written by Chris Stapleton and Al Anderson, the song was released in November 2011 as the second single from his album "Here for a Good Time."
Title track from Strait's album of the same name. "Blue Clear Sky" was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee at Emerald Studios. And yeah, it went number one on the country charts.
In the song, the central characters (Chesney and Strait) express their frustrations with constantly working shifts at a convenience store ("Workin' seven to three / Three to eleven / Eleven to seven").
The song’s narrator confides in the significant other who dumped him. He informs her of a sophisticated new girlfriend who idolizes him, but this only displeases him. Likewise, he is haunted by his many flaws, which the former girlfriend knows all too well.
The first single from the soundtrack of ‘Pure Country,’ which starred Strait. It reached number one in both the United States and Canada. The song is featured as the movie's finale.
The song is about a love affair on the beach. Two people get together and have a good time during a vacation. They create many memories and then go their separate ways – back to their normal lives. It was released in September 1982 as the second single from his album "Strait from the Heart."
Originally recorded by 1960’s country star Faron Young, Strait's version was a chart-topper in 1988, his eighth consecutive single to hit number one.
Comes from George’s debut album ‘Strait Country.’ The album was one of the first to be recorded and mixed digitally.
This song won an ASCAP Award for being among the most performed country songs of 1982. It was released in May 1982 as the first single from Strait's ‘Strait from the Heart’ album and was included in the soundtrack of the feature film ‘The Soldier.’
Released in December 1985 as the second and final single from his album ‘Something Special,’ the song peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks.
This song was first recorded by Willie Nelson on his 1986 album ‘Partners.’ George Strait released the song in June 1992 as the second single from his album ‘Holding My Own.’ The song looks at the relationship between a father and a son. The narrator plays the part of the son begging his mom for assistance.
This one was quite controversial when it came out calling out the music of the time period, saying that it was simply not country enough. Originally, the two singers performed the song together at the 1999 Country Music Association Awards show before recording it. George put it on the ‘Latest, Greatest Straitest’ album.
The name of George’s longtime band and a catchy tune as well. The song was released in July 1989 as the third single from his album ‘Beyond the Blue Neon.’ It became his 18th #1 single and his 11th in a row.
This one was released in April 1986 as the first single from the album ‘#7.’ The song tells the story of a guy that broke up with a girl. He was the one that told her he had to move on and now he’s the one crying over the loss.
This song was released in December of 1988 as the first single from the album "Beyond the Blue Neon." The narrator is a man who is learning that his woman has left him and probably for good this time. She didn't shed a single tear as she left, and he knows she's perfected goodbye this time.
This song was released in March of 1999 as the second single from Strait's album ‘Always Never the Same.’ It was his 35th number-one single on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. The tune also reached number 27 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming one of his most successful crossover singles to date.
The song is about a guy watching his ex-lover fall in love with another guy. He realizes just how happy his former girlfriend looks now that she's fallen in true love. The video for the song was Strait's first music video.
This song was released in May 1984 as the third and final single from the album ‘Right or Wrong.’ The song was George Strait's fifth number one on the country chart.
This catchy song is actually a cover. It’s a traditional song dating back to the 1920s, which was previously most associated with Emmett Miller and Bob Wills.
Another George Strait number one. The song is about a guy back in Fort Worth, Texas. He’s enjoying a few beers and thinking about his former lover who is now with someone else in Dallas. The guy wonders if she ever thinks of him and the good times they had together.
Classic. This was the last song George sang at his legendary concert on June 7, 2014, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas with a worldwide record-setting attendance of 104,000 people in the audience.
At the Academy of Country Music awards in 2007, "Give It Away" won both the Single of the Year and Song of the Year awards; the song also won Song of the Year honors at the Country Music Association Awards the same year.
No, there is no oceanfront property in Arizona. This is the title song from the album of the same name. The album was his first album to debut at #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart. It was ranked #5 on CMT's list of 40 Greatest Albums in Country Music in 2006.
It was released in August 1987 as the third and final single from his album Ocean Front Property. The song became George’s 12th number 1 single in the U.S.
Strait cites this one as a personal favorite. The song was the 86th chart single of his career. It has become his 79th Top Ten single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. "Troubadour" was nominated for Best Male Country Vocal Performance at the 2009 Grammy Awards.
The lead character in this touching song is walking down the sidewalk after his wife has just had a baby, meanwhile noticing such things as a flower growing out of a crack in the sidewalk, a couple who are expecting a baby and the colors of a sunset. Beautiful.
"Famous Last Words of a Fool" is a song George released in January 1988 as the first single from his album ‘If You Ain't Lovin', You Ain't Livin'.’ The song was originally recorded by his long-time songwriter Dean Dillon.
The song is an ode to a lover in which the narrator discusses the history of their relationship, detailing how their romance began when they were kids.
Strait’s very first single to country radio and the song that introduced us to this former army corporal. At the time, MCA Records offered him a single deal, agreeing to release one song as a single and to provide the necessary promotion. If the single was successful in sales and radio play, then an album deal would be offered. We know how that turned out!
Countless country artists from Blake Shelton to Garth Brooks have played this song in their shows before they had enough hits not to do covers. It’s a classic.
"The Chair" came at the end of a night-long songwriting binge by songwriters, Hank Cochran and Dean Dillon. The two had been writing songs all night long and as Dillon puts it, "were about written out" - when he strummed his guitar and sang the line "Excuse me but I think you've got my chair." Twenty minutes later, "The Chair" was complete. The song was named by CMT as one of the Top 100 country songs of all time, posting at number 24.
George told CMT in a rare recent interview that this is the song he thinks people remember him most for.
Just classic Strait. The beat, the words, the feel of it, the image it gives listeners - all just perfect!