On Dec. 21, 1985, George Strait’s “The Chair” hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. It became the seventh of his record 44 career leaders on the list.

Strait tallied 18 Hot Country Songs No. 1s in the 1980s, 17 in the ‘90s and nine in the 2000s. He first led with “Fool Hearted Memory” in 1982 and most recently reigned with “River of Love” in 2009.

Hank Cochran and Dean Dillon co-wrote “The Chair,” released as a single from Strait’s album Something Special, and Strait and Jimmy Bowen produced it.

“I’ve always had a knack for picking good songs for myself,” Strait mused in a 2013 Billboard cover story. “I’ve always said that it’s hard to put my finger on what it is exactly that tells me that a song is right for me, but it comes down to the melody first. You can have a really well-written song, but without a great melody it’s probably not going to go too far. On the other hand, a great melody can do a whole lot toward making a lyric better. Great songs have both great lyrics and a great melody. Thank God for all the great writers whose songs I’ve been fortunate enough to find and record.”

Strait also boasts a record 86 Hot Country Songs top 10s, having most recently ranked in the region with “Give It All We Got Tonight” in 2013.

Strait, who was born May 18, 1952, in Poteet, Texas, made history on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart in October 2019, becoming the first artist to tally 100 entries with the debut of “The Weight of the Badge,” which he co-penned with son Bubba Strait and Dillon. The song’s parent set, Honky Tonk Time Machine, became Strait’s record 27th No. 1 on Top Country Albums.

Strait, 71, is set to headline a string of stadium concerts starting May 4 in Indianapolis, with Chris Stapleton and Little Big Town.

Gary Trust
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