Kings of Country Music
The story of this hit started when Merle Haggard released his 1970 album, “A Tribute to the Best Damn Fiddle Player in the World.” The Hag helped turn an 18-year-old Texas boy named George Strait to the music style of Bob Wills. Blending honky-tonk styles, Bob Wills became “The King of Western Swing and one of his hits pulled the king of country music, George Strait, out of a jam in 1983.
The Last Song for his Third Album
After recording his first two albums with his producer, Blake Mevis, King George decided to change in the midst of his third album. He cast away the project and started over with his new producer Ray Baker at the helm. However, they encountered a deadline problem. MCA had already released the fourth single from “Strait From The Heart” LP and they wanted the new album quickly. George Strait and Ray Baker selected a dozen songs, with nine tunes behind them, they only needed one more. Twenty minutes before the end of their final session, Baker suggested they try a song that he had seen King George perform. It was “Right or Wrong” by Bob Wills.
The Recording Session
Fortunately, it happened that one of the musicians in the studio that day was a fiddle player who used to play in the band of Bob Wills, the Texas Playboys named Johnny Gimble. He is a three-time CMA “Instrumentalist of the Year” award winner and was very familiar with the song. Ray Baker gave Gimble the freedom to do what he wanted with the fiddle on the cut. He was great, as always, on the intro, breaks, and fills. Most of the reviewers felt that it was Johnny Gimble’s amazing fiddling that contributed as much as anything toward “Right Or Wrong’s” chart-topping peak on April 28, 1984. The song became George Strait’s fourth No. 1 hit. However, it was only the beginning of King George’s lengthy career. He made a whopping 44 No. 1 hits (this is Billboard’s authentic, official and accurate tally) an unbreakable mark in all fields of music.
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bob wills, George Strait