Testo In Italiano

In the early 80’s country music was going through a slow period; there were big names but it seemed that the musical inspiration had finally abandoned the “Music City”. Suddenly on this “calm plain “came a gust of wind, coming from Texas, that would soon turn into a hurricane. A boy from Poteet was beginning to make a name for himself, because, in addition to having a fantastic voice, he insisted on appearing in public with an ever-present cowboy hat, despite what someone, with great “foresight”, had predicted to him, that “singers wearing a cowboy hat would never have made a fortune”. “Besides, he even made extensive use of a fiddle and steel guitar during his concerts. This guy, who in a very few years would cause such an uproar in the world of country music, would also go onto become the reference point for a generation of artists. Nobody then could have imagined, that George Strait, who, until then had always lived on a ranch near Pearsall, TX, breeding horses and gathering cattle, would become one of the most loved singers by the American public.George Strait’s musical career began in 1971 in Hawaii, where he was doing his military service. Here, he had formed an “army band “with which he performed in various military bases, thus evading most of the daily routines that the “service” entailed. Back in Texas,he had decided to continue his musical career by forming a group, with semi-professionals, called Stoney Ridge, even though his main interests, however, remained his academic studies and work as a cowboy at his father’s ranch. He graduated from Southwest University in Agricultural Education, and had found a good position as a teacher at the same university. Despite being a “serious” professor, George continued to cultivate his passion for music, also performing in clubs until dawn. Impressed by some of his demos, MCA decided to sign a contract with him in 1981, sensing that this artist would soon become a superstar, able to sell millions of records. The only drawback was that “cursed” cowboy hat, he was so determined to wear, which no one had the courage to get him to remove. Finally in July ’81 “Strait Country” came out on the MCA label, and was an immediate success. It is an album that marked a profound change in the world of country music. Its impact was so “violent” that thousands of young Americans not only discovered the passion for country music, but were so fascinated, as to try their luck and make it as singers themselves. Amongst these, two in particular, one in Oklahoma and the other in Georgia, who were so impressed with this album they decided that all they wanted out of life was to “become like George Strait.” Needless to specify that I am referring to Garth Brooks and Alan clear skyMeanwhile, the record companies, aware that country music “was selling” well, began to invest large amounts of capital at a national level to promote this kind of music. Many young talents, with an unparalleled quality for singing, were signed up, as were the best musicians, technicians, producers. The American advertising companies were heavily making the most of all the usual broadcasting channels (radio, television and press). Nashville, always the capital of the Country music world, was going through a magical period ( especially economic) like never before in its past. In the meantime George Strait ( with the great satisfaction on behalf of the record industry for his continuing desire to carry on wearing his “blessed” cowboy hat) had won, with his very much traditional country music, the affection of a large part of the United States. Thanks to a series of extremely exciting albums and lively songs that express an array of sentiments which speak directly to the heart of the listener, America had found a hero in which it can identify itself. Caution however, he is not a singer who tells the audience exactly what they want to hear, but of a man who firmly believes in the values and the lifestyle he offers.
His sincerity was never questioned. Musically speaking, George Strait is the prototype of the country singer who can effectively combine a beautiful warm and modern voice, with arrangements that have the typical style of the more traditional country music. Almost certainly those who have coined the term “new traditional” did so after listening to a George Strait record. In a carrier stretching over a 30 year period, George Strait has published many albums, all of a great musical level and big emotional impact. Obviously I would recommend them all, but having to choose my favourites, I would recommend : Strait Country (1981), Strait From The Heart (1982), # 7 (1986), Ocean Front Property (1987), If You Aint’t Lovin ‘You Is not Livin’ (1988), Chill Of An Early Fall (1991), Pure Country (1992)-soundtrack of a wonderful movie starring George himself, Lead On (1994), Blue Clear Sky (1996) – which, according to me is the most beautiful ever-, Carrying Your love With Me (1997), One Step at a Time (1998), Somewhere Down In Texas (2005), Troubadour (2008) and the last release, Love Is Everything (2013). As I have already said, an entire generation of country singers owes something to this singer from a small town near San Antonio TX. They owe him something not only from the musical point of view, but also to the way in which present themselves. Cowboy hats, tight jeans, and boots, which, before the phenomenon, George Strait, were considered only as a simple “stage costume”, now, after his success, have become a lifestyle. (Gianluca Sitta)