How George Strait Changed Granger Smith’s Life

“There Was Only One Path for Me”

This must be why people refer to George Strait as the King. Because he has the power to change lives.

That’s how Granger Smith sees it, anyway.

Smith told industry publication Country Aircheck that seeing Strait at the Texas Stadium in 1996 changed his life.

“I camped out to get the tickets,” Smith recalled. “Because of my fan club status I was able to get second row, center. It started at noon and I watched everybody who played. At certain points in the day, I was the only one on the floor because it was so hot. I was so intrigued by this lifestyle these guys were living — everyone from the bands to the crew.”

“By the time George played, there was this kinetic energy in the stadium and I was convinced there was only one path for me in life,” he said.

Smith also said that of all the albums that influenced him growing up, Strait’s Greatest Hits Volume Two from 1987 tops the list.

“I was already into country music, but that was the first time I could remember it creating my passion for it,” he admitted. “More than an average listener, I was becoming a super fan.”

Other country albums that built him include Garth Brooks’ self-titled debut and Mark Chesnutt’s Longnecks & Short Stories.

There is one adjacent genre that Smith doesn’t always love, though: folk.

“I could probably listen to opera before I could listen to Bob Dylan,” he said.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.