The numbers are staggering. George Strait has recorded 26 studio albums since his debut in 1981. He's had 60 No. 1 singles on various country charts. And he's been touring for more than 30 years. You'd think he's pretty much done it all. But Strait's one small regret is that he hasn't done more songwriting.
"If I have one regret in my career -- which has been great and it's hard to come up with one -- but, if I have one [it's] that I kind of quit writing for years," Strait said in a recent radio interview. "Because starting out, I loved to write and wrote a lot and then I just kind of got away from it."
Strait did write a few album cuts early on in his career, including "I Can't See Texas From Here" for 1982's Strait From the Heart. But honestly, it's hard to find his name on the albums that followed. Maybe he was writing back then, but there wasn't room for his songs once all the hits started coming in from other writers. I know that for his 2009 Twang album he wrote "Living for the Night" and a couple of other cuts, as well. But somewhere in those 27 years between 1982 and 2009, Strait must have had a notebook he was filling with song lyrics.
And then for his last two albums Love Is Everything and Here for a Good Time, Strait wrote or co-wrote 11 songs.
"I found great songs from great writers in Nashville," he said. "But now I'm getting back into it more, so I'm enjoying that a lot."
Maybe he'll play a few of his own tunes when he gets out on the road for the last time. His Cowboy Rides Away tour will feature special guests such as Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Sheryl Crow, Ronnie Dunn, Vince Gill, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Lee Ann Womack, Chris Young and more.