Earlier today (July 18), The New Yorker published an in-depth piece on George Strait that gave new insight into the country legend’s life and legacy. Here are five of the most interesting and surprising tidbits we learned about the reigning King of Country.
5. He doesn’t record in Nashville anymore
Although he spent years traveling from Texas to Tennessee to record his tunes, Strait now heads to Florida Keys. Since the Nashville climate tended to worsen his allergies, he now records most of his material in a small Key West studio owned by Jimmy Buffett.
READ MORE: 15 Best George Strait Songs, Ranked
4. He’s hard to get to know
Strait has stayed out of the public spotlight for most of his career. But most who know and work with George say it can be hard to build a personal relationship with him. Even those he’s worked with for decades, including his longtime promoter, say they always keep their working and private lives separate.
3. He’ll never change to please country radio
Since his retirement from the touring circuit, Strait hasn’t snagged another No. 1 hit. An expansive radio campaign launched to earn him his 60th No. 1 before his 60th birthday didn’t quite hit the mark. Still, Strait has refused to change direction to please music programmers. Although his recent single “Goin’, Goin’, Gone” got barely any traction on radio, he still plays it alongside his biggest hits during his current Las Vegas residency shows.
2. He’s not into kissing scenes
When he was filming a scene for his 1992 film Pure Country, he reportedly wasn’t on board to act out a “unnecessary” and “potentially embarrassing” kissing scene between him and lead actress Isabel Glasser. Instead, the scene was rewritten to show the two gazing longingly at each other.
5. He knows what he wants in a song
Although Strait doesn’t write most of his tunes, he can tell if he likes a song within 30 seconds. He also isn’t afraid to make small changes to lyrics if he sees fit. The New Yorker reports that Strait changed a line in “All My Ex’s Live in Texas” that referred to the Brazos River to mention the Frio River, which is located near his own hometown.