George Strait

Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind

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Two years after his breakthrough album, Strait From the Heart, George Strait was riding the charts again with perhaps his finest recorded moment. Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind, both the album and the song, were, along with Dwight Yoakam's Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc., the only real traditional country records on the radio in 1984. And Strait is not a "new traditionalist." He came out of Texas a country singer, and album after album he proved that he was a traditional country singer. The title cut, written by Sanger and Darlene Shafer is one of four they placed on the album, and another, "Honky Tonk Saturday Night," charted as the disc's second single. Jimmy Bowen staggered the tunes here to reflect all of Strait's considerable strengths -- there are hot and jumpy Western swing numbers such as "Any Old Time" and ballads like "You're Dancin' This Dance All Wrong," along with honky tonk weepers such as "I Should Have Watched That First Step." But there are a few barroom ravers as well as the swinging honky tonk of "Love Comes From the Other Side of Town" and the smoking closer "The Fireman." This is the tightest selection of tracks, perfectly sequenced and gorgeously sung by an earthy country singer who was at the very top of his powers. Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind is an enduring classic two decades later and is timeless in its appeal.

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