He’s been called The King of Country Music, The Last of the Great Cowboys, and Pure Country. When you think of Texas, you have to think of George Strait.
It’s the end of an era tonight in Arlington as the cowboy will ride away for the last time after a career that’s lasted over 30 years.
Barbara Mandrell says she was “country when country wasn’t cool.” George Strait is what made country cool. Nowadays, George could sing “I was country when country wasn’t country.”
I may not have gotten to see him play Gruene Hall or other Texas honky tonks and I won’t be there tonight, but over a period of 20 years I was fortunate to see George Strait just stand there and sing at least a dozen times in:
- San Antonio at the Alamodome (“The House They Built for George”). He’d close out the day-long music festivals after opening acts whose entire careers were only a fraction of what George put together.
- Houston when he closed down the Astrodome.
- Arlington when he opened Cowboys Stadium and led thousands and thousands of people in chanting, “Jerry, open the roof! Jerry, open the roof!”
- Chicago at Soldier Field where the crowd was just as excited as any in Texas.
So, why am I writing about George Strait in a photography blog?
George is a mostly a vocalist. He doesn’t write many songs but he puts his own touch on someone else’s. He isn’t flashy and his shows have been consistently the same since the beginning. He does what he does and he does it well. Solid and reliable.
As a photographer, you don’t have to come up with your own ideas all the time. There are only so many poses you can have someone do. I don’t think you have to do the kind of photography that is popular at a particular point in time. Keeping it simple can be the best philosophy. That may be how you stand the test of time.
I once heard a long-time photographer say that he makes his images timeless so you can’t tell when the photo was taken. That’s how it is with a George Strait song. It will sound as great in 2014 as it did in 1981.
I’m not saying you can’t step out of your comfort zone. (Even George tried his hand at acting.) But, be who you are. You never know how far that might take you.
My favorite George Strait songs?
The Cowboy Rides Away
I Saw God Today
Somewhere Down in Texas
I’ll Always Remember You
Amarillo by Morning
Just like in photography, songs are all about remembering. Remembering the career and accomplishments of someone who can be mentioned in the same sentence as Elvis, the Beatles, Michael Jackson. Remembering a special time when you heard a song. Remembering when you got close enough to capture a few photos of a living legend.
Comment below with your favorite George Strait memory or song, or any other thoughts you may have.