Loyal fans and supporters of George Strait knew what happened on November 18, 2016. This was the scheduled date for the release of George Strait’s “Strait Out of The Box Part 2.” This included songs from 1996 – 2016 and two new released singles. Besides the new compilation, one of the new tracks, “Kicked Outta Country,” served as George Strait’s voice to express his frustration with country radios.
Known to be the guy who won’t usually reveal what he thinks through his music or interviews, the King of Country had enough. Like what happened to other traditional country sounds, Strait’s newly released songs received very little air time from radio stations. This was just something that Strait could no longer let pass. The height of his dissatisfaction was evident in the opening lines of “Kicked Outta Country.”
“I just got the news today,
the record I sent them they threw it away
It don’t fit the format, don’t make the list
They said I’m too old, won’t even be missed,”
His 2015 album, Cold Beer Conversations, had two singles that peaked at 33 and at the 46th spot of the Country Airplay Charts. This was considered an under achievement for someone like George Strait who had a total of 60 number one hits.
Feels Like Being Kicked Outta Country
Sailing on the same boat as Strait is singer-songwriter Jamey Johnson. Johnson was obviously an amazing singer and lyricist, but radio stations won’t play his music. The two teamed up and wrote about their frustrations which they illustrated as being kicked out of country.
Strait and Johnson’s collaboration was done through texting. The idea started on one of their evening music jams. Johnson told Strait that he has some songs that he’d like to send. Strait said that he’d love to hear them although they probably won’t be played on the radio again. Johnson agreed saying, “Yeah, you know they kicked me out of country too.”
The line kicked outta country led Strait thinking that it will make a good song title. He texted Johnson and they started sharing ideas until they completed the song.
Also a Tribute Song
From the title to the first verse, listeners have a clear hint where “Kicked Outta Country” is leading. It blasted radio stations for their indifference to the records of artists who were passed their prime, treating them like a thing of the past.
It also carried out a time of reflection when country radios stopped playing the songs of Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash. This did not deter them from producing their own brand of music. Fans still bought their albums and supported their cause in keeping traditional country music alive.
The song then centered around Strait’s personal experience seeing the decline of his fame. Strait knew that it happens to everyone, and that he expected his career to reach this point as well. Still, it was a downer for Strait that after years hearing his songs frequently played on the radio, it now comes close to none.
“Kicked Outta Country,” however, ended on a positive note. It stated that even though he gets kicked out of country, it won’t change a thing for him. Strait added in one of his interviews that he is fortunate and grateful for what he has achieved in his career.
Spoken Like a True King of Country
Since the release “Kicked Outta Country,” Strait held true to what he said in the last few line of his song. He remained the undisputed king of country and has continued to produce the George Strait music that we all have been accustomed to.
Upon the release of “Honky Tonk Time Machine,” his singles, “Every Little Honky Tonk Bar” and “The Weight of the Badge” charted at number 17 and 51 on Country Airplay. Strait has also announced some schedules of his tours for this year for his fans to look forward to.
On April 21 , George Strait’s Codigo has pledged to give back to the people in the food industry. They announced that Strait’s beverage brand will be donating 30 percent of its income from online orders to the United States Bartenders Guild National Charity. This is to assist the bartenders who lost their jobs due to the closure of restaurants and bars which were affected by the present pandemic.