Sometimes the best songs are born from the most random of thoughts or questions. For Sanger Shafer and Darlene Shafer, his wife at the time, it was the question, “Does Fort Worth ever cross your mind?”
The couple had lived in Fort Worth, Texas, before moving to Nashville. When they were already settled in the music city, Darlene would occasionally ask Sanger, “Does Fort Worth ever cross your mind?”
Fort Worth is located near Dallas, and for Sanger, it always seemed like the former was always overshadowed by the latter. Because of this, he believed Fort Worth never got the recognition it deserved.
Sanger then thought the question would be a great title for a song. And so, he began writing lyrics around the concept and incorporated them with some melodies he was already working on.
In the end, “Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind” became a song about a guy enjoying a few beers in Fort Worth, Texas, while thinking about his previous girlfriend who’s now with someone else in Dallas.
The song was first recorded by Moe Bandy, which he included in his 1977 album, I’m Sorry For You My Friend. In 1984, Keith Whitley also recorded the song and released it as a non-album track on the radio. It only received adequate airplay.
But when the country superstar George Strait covered and made the song the title track and lead-off single of his fourth studio album, “Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind” finally gained attention and grew in popularity.
Strait’s album was released by MCA Records on the 26th of September 1984. The song initially ranked No. 74 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart but quickly reached No. 1 on the first week of 1985.
However, after the album was released, it was later learned that the song was also initially offered to Reba McEntire before it was pitched to Strait. McEntire didn’t snatch up the song because it involved a line about beer.
Nonetheless, the song’s success continued to reach heights as “Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind” transcended Us borders and peaked at No. 10 on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks. On top of that, the album also received the CMA and ACM “Album of the Year” trophies and was certified platinum by the RIAA after selling one million copies in the US.
It’s safe to say that “Does Forth Worth Ever Cross Your Mind” finally crossed the minds of listeners.
Listen to “Does Forth Worth Ever Cross Your Mind” by George Strait below.