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Strait inks up

Friday, August 30, 2013 – George Strait may have said he's retiring from the stage, but he is not abandoning recording. Strait signed with his three-decades plus label MCA earlier this week for five more albums.

"George Strait, the artist, the performer, the personality, the man, simply defines country music, yesterday, today, and tomorrow," said Dungan. "I can't tell you what a pleasure and a privilege it is to work with this artist, and what an honor it is to represent the man and the music. We know the best is yet to come."

Strait signed with MCA in May 1981. Since then, he has released 40 studio albums including "Love Is Everything" in May.

"It seems like yesterday I signed with MCA. I was homeless, so to speak, back then, as far as the music business goes and MCA gave me a home," said Strait. "I'll always appreciate that. I still have a home, and I'm looking forward to a whole lot more."

On Wednesday, nearly 700 guests were honored Strait at Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Invited guests were music industry professionals, family and friends, as well as songwriters from all of Strait's number one singles, and all members of every past and present MCA Nashville promotion team.

The celebration opened with recognition of all of Strait's number one hits, including Give It All We Got Tonight, the most recent history-making 60th number one single, a record.

An "in the round" acoustic performance of some of Strait's biggest hits followed, performed by Jim Lauderdale, Tim James, Phil O'Donnell and Dean Dillon, songwriters who have been mainstays within Strait's song catalogue throughout his career.

Since 1999, as a headline act, Strait has sold close to five million tickets for a gross of more than $300 million, and currently holds attendance records in 19 of the largest arenas/stadiums in the country. In November, Billboard Magazine will honor Strait with their Legend of Live Award at the Billboard Touring Awards in New York City, making him the first-ever country music singer to receive the award. Strait currently is on his farewell "The Cowboy Rides Away" tour.

Former President George H.W. Bush and Merle Haggard, Strait's hero, sent congratulations, but were not able to appear.

The evening concluded with a performance by Strait, who played some of his biggest hits: Troubadour, Amarillo By Morning and The Chair with his Ace In The Hole band.

The final song of the night was Strait's current single, I Believe, a song he wrote after learning about the tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn. last December. Joining him on stage was a children's choir from Eakin Elementary School. The school is a beneficiary of "Keep the Music Playing," CMA's music education program which has donated more than $7.6 million and purchased more than 5,000 instruments for Metro Nashville Public Schools since 2006. The song was arranged for the choir by Strait's longtime producer and friend, Tony Brown, who rehearsed with the children at their school last week.

More news for George Strait

CD reviews for George Strait

Honky Tonk Time Machine CD review - Honky Tonk Time Machine
At this stage of his nearly four-decades-long career, George Strait sure knows his sweet spot. Take a look at the cover of his 30th studio album, and it's understood that it's the honky tonks that are part and parcel of the tall Texan. Not to mention the title. And that means, Strait is going to be singing about drinking, loving and faith in styles ranging from honky tonk to straight ahead country to Tex-Mex stylings to ballads. You're also going to hear fiddle and pedal steel »»»
Cold Beer Conversation CD review - Cold Beer Conversation
recording front. This surprise release shows an artist now in his early 60s completely capable of being the leading voice for his brand of country music, which is increasingly rare these days. Strait always has enjoyed a voice that resonates and is dexterous depending on the style. And the Texan sticks with the types of styles that brought him to the top - traditional country ("Let It Go," "Goin' Goin' Gone"), Texas swing ("It Takes All Kinds") and Zydeco »»»
The Cowboy Rides Away: Live From AT&T Stadium CD review - The Cowboy Rides Away: Live From AT&T Stadium
George Strait has been one of the most dependable country music stars for three decades. In this day and age, the Texan is a certifiable throwback. He's low key, not a self-promoter. All's he has done is churn out hit after hit for decade after decade. He has not been the kind of artist who put his finger up in the air either or trading his cowboy hat for a baseball cap. When looking up the definition of traditional country, George Strait sits at the top. Strait tackles 20 songs on »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Rising Appalachia buck the mainsteam, and that's fine with them – Rising Appalachia would not be accused of being in the musical mainstream. Not too many bands who combine folk and Appalachian sounds with new world music could possibly be. And that suits the sister-led duo of Chloe Smith and Leah Song just fine. In fact, at one point, Chloe made it clear she did not embrace radio play as a sign of success... »»»
Concert Review: Bingham plays with something to prove – Ryan Bingham mainly focused on songs from his sixth album "American Love Song," for this lively show. Backed by a supportive band that also included two female backup singers and a fiddler, Bingham's eclectic setlist touched upon country, singer/songwriter folk, rock and blues. Bingham reached for lively country sounds early on, with... »»»
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