After the miserable car accident which took the life of 13-year-old Jenifer Strait on 25th of June, 1986, George Strait quits receiving interviews from the press. The wound was still fresh and he didn’t want it brought up in the media.
By the time he was able to summon the courage to talk to the press, Strait stated his reason.
“I just didn’t feel like talking about it, so I quit…I did want to keep singing, absolutely. But I was at the point where I’m, ‘Alright, if this is going to cost me my career, then so be it, but it’s the only way I’m going to be able to cope with it.’ It just kind of turned out the way it did. It wasn’t an intentional thing.”
It’s important to note that George Strait said that he didn’t want his career to end by purposely avoiding interviews. As a celebrity, attending interviews is a definite must as a significant boost in promoting subliminal messages, inspiration, and dedication of certain tracks in an album. But that’s exactly the reason why Strait didn’t want it. He did not want more people knowing or the media being nosy about the sensitive details of his beloved daughter’s death.
Strait thought that pursuing his career after the incident must’ve been an apathetic act towards the death of his daughter, especially when he is surrounded by several people who want to dig in way past his comfort zone. In the end, he wasn’t able to let go of his drive to make music but along with it, he chose to cut ties with those people who may or will talk about the tragic history of his daughter.
Nevertheless, as a renowned country artist, he let his art and passion do the talking. His songs are known to be directly interconnected with his feelings which he has freely let his fans into. Strait, nonetheless, claims that nothing is intentionally autobiographical about his songs. It’s just him and the music taking things subconsciously.
“I don’t think there’s anything autobiographical about my material unless it’s subconsciously….I just look for a song I like, and when I hear it, I know it right away.”
While some have speculated that “Baby Blue” from ‘If You Ain’t Lovin’ You Ain’t Livin’ album from the year 1988 was George Strait’s song dedication for Jenifer, the King of Country has never confirmed it. The song describes an unspecified person whose memories gave him mixed feelings of both good and bad.
“I try not to think of her, but I fall asleep and do”.
Whether the album’s release is timed two years after his daughter’s death or may have been planned way before the tragedy, everyone would agree that this song holds a significant mysterious meaning that goes best unexplained by Strait himself.
Becoming the Man of Few Words
Strait has become more apprehensive ever since. He became known as the man with few words on stage, but once he comes down, it becomes fewer to zero. That came with perks though. He walks in local coffee shops without being molested. No one hardly notices him as he removes his signature cowboy hat and his big bright smiles which he always flashes onstage. His choice of remaining private and hard-to-reach is not an act of being reluctant. Rather, he classifies it as being selective, choosing carefully the people who should know of his past especially the whole story when he lost his daughter.
As a musician, he’s still very passionate about keeping the spirit of traditional country music alive. He still holds affection for his fans but the way he acts in the present is a result of the continuous undertaking of events in his life. The world of showbiz is a rough one, without regard to the privacy of those who are in it. Consequently, our unconventional king of Country Music became known for being a little mysterious.
His fans, of course, understand. Taking a few detours after a loss isn’t a bad thing. What matters is that he kept the drive to keep going, pursuing his love for music, and sharing it with the whole world without the pressure to unveil everything that’s in his heart.
Life may always include a dose of mishaps, but it always comes with a dash of humor and this King knows it. Continue to live well, George Strait!