Country musician George Strait known as the King of Country is one of the greatest singers that the world has seen in recent times. His country boy looks, cowboy style and his vocal style has made him quite a sensation globally.
Born in May 1952 in Poteet, Texas George did not have an easy childhood. His parents’ marriage broke apart and the whole family was shattered. George saw his mother take his sister and abandon them, leaving all of them heartbroken. At such a tough time, George found solace in music. When he was attending the Pearsall High School, he joined the rock and roll band. George was a big Beatles fan but soon preferred country music and was influenced by singers such as Merle Haggard, Frank Sinatra and Bob Wills. Interestingly, his influence in country music came from listening to live bands and not the radio.
In 1971, George and his childhood sweetheart Norma eloped and got married in Mexico. Later in the year, George got listed in the United States Army. While stationed in Hawaii with the 25th Infantry Division, George started playing for the U.S. band named ‘Santee.’ His love for music continued even when he was enlisted with the army. In 1972, George and Norma welcomed their first child, Jenifer into the world.
George got discharged honorably in the 1985 and enrolled in the Texas State University to graduate in Agriculture. While he was growing up, George and his brother worked with their father on his ranch, so it was ideal that he take up the course in order to help his father. It is at the campus in the University that George found his new break.
He joined as lead vocalist to a country music band named ‘Stoney Ridge.’ From that point on, George’s singing career took a new curve as the band became popular and played all across the country. George and his band were hoping that their growing music will give them a big break, but nothing big seemed to come his way.
George was all frustrated and ready to give up on music but his wife Norma encouraged him to hang on. Luckily for George, his stars were turning. He was signed by MCA records in the 1981 and then the wheels of fortunes turned his way.
In 1986, while at the age of 13, Jenifer was out with friends while her parents were asleep at home. She was killed in an accident and the police ruled out the influence of alcohol in the accident. Jenifer’s death devastated George and his wife. He turned to music to find peace and in 2007; he recorded the song ‘You’ll be there’ for his daughter Jenifer.
12 Things About George Strait You Didn’t Know
George was born in in May 1952 in Poteet, Texas to a rancher father and homemaker mother. He also has an older sister Pency and younger brother John Junior.
His parents divorced when George was in third grade, leaving them all devastated. What broke him down further was his mother taking away his elder sister Pency with her and abandoning John Junior and him.
Music was part of John’s life at a very age. He was part of a rock and roll band when he was in school. Like every teenager, George was a Beatles fan but was not much of country music listener.
George took a liking to country music when he heard live bands play popular country music influenced by singers like Merle Haggard, Frank Sinatra and Bob Wills. He preferred listening to the radio for news on farmers rather than music.
George married his childhood sweetheart Norma in Mexico after they eloped in 1971. A year later they were blessed with a daughter Jenifer. His son George Strait Junior was born 10 years later in 1981.
George Strait enrolled in the United States Army. He was stationed in Hawaii in the year 1972. His joined the Army sponsored band and played as a vocalist for the band named ‘Santee.’ In 1975, after over four years of a service, George was discharged honourably form the army.
He then took admission in the Texas State University to study Agriculture. On the campus, he saw a flyer by country music band ‘Stoney Ridge’ who was looking for a lead vocalist. George joined the band, and they soon became popular. Despite planning all across Texas, the band was unable to go national. Strait had renamed the group to ‘Ace in the hole’
A frustrated George was ready to give up on his singing career but his wife Norma encouraged him to hold on for another year and keep trying.
During the 1981, after years of struggle, MCA Nashville signed a recording contract with George Strait. The condition was that if their first song became a hit, then the company will think about doing an album. George along with his band’s efforts paid off and there was no looking back from there.
His first country single ‘Unwound’ ranked number 6 on Billboard and that led to the creation of the album Strait Country. Critics lauded George’s band for breaking though the pop culture to create its own niche. George’s band soon started topping the country pop charts on the Billboard.
George’s first child, Jenifer was in an accident and died in the year 1986. She was just 13 years old. George found solace in his music after his daughter’s death.
He dedicated a song called ‘You’ll be there’ for his daughter Jenifer nearly 21 years after her death.