This Is Where The Cowboy Rides Away...
June 9, 2014
All Access Editorial Assistant Brittany Pellegrino takes on "The 'Ville" this week, after spending the weekend in Dallas, with George Strait.
I've experienced a lot of emotions this past week, beginning on Tuesday (6/3). I was out to lunch, and upon my return, RJ called me into his office.
"What are you doing Saturday?" he asked.
"I don't know. What am I doing Saturday?" I responded.
"Well, I believe you're going to be attending the George Strait show in Dallas," he replied.
Anything that happened right after that is beyond me, as I'm pretty sure I was lightheaded and in a state of shock.
I was able to pull myself together by Wednesday and booked my hotel, plane ticket, and rental car to Dallas; and by Saturday morning, I was stepping on a plane to see the final show of a man who heavily influenced my career choice and passion behind it.
For those of you that don't know me, I'm 25 years old going on 60. I grew up in suburban Detroit loving Country music -- listening to the likes of Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Keith Whitley, Tanya Tucker, Brooks & Dunn, Travis Tritt, Tracy Lawrence, Clay Walker and the King of Country ... George Strait.
But out of all those listed above, George's music has been there with me through it all.
I was six years old and sitting in my first grade classroom. I received a tap on my shoulder and then a note was placed on my desk that read: "Will you be my gf, check yes or no."
It was clear to others, even at that age, that there was one way to my heart: George Strait.
His music continued with me through the tumultuous (or so I thought) teenage heartbreak years, where I would play songs like "When Did You Stop Loving Me" or "Nobody In His Right Mind Would Have Left Her" (confidence boost), over and over.
To college and the first time I was in love ("I Cross My Heart") and realized they weren't ("Give It Away").
Now in my mid-20s, the amount of George Strait CDs I've accumulated are spread all over my car and his songs, old and new, are still continuing to play out as the soundtrack to my life.
Seeing his final show this past Saturday (6/7) was extremely bittersweet, as you can imagine. Many of you know George Straitâ€™s music was a big part of what inspired me to pursue a career in the Country music business. I, as well as his label and radio folks, spent a few minutes with George right before he was about to walk on stage.
Someone said to him that they were sad, in which George replied, "Well, I have to admit, I'm pretty sad, too."
And when he started singing his final song, "The Cowboy Rides Away," with special guests Miranda Lambert, Kenny Chesney, Sheryl Crow, Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Eric Church, Alan Jackson, Jason Aldean, Vince Gill, and the Ace In The Hole Band all beside him, as well as 104,000+ fans screaming out to him; you could see that exact emotion on his face.
The enormity of Saturday night was not lost on radio pros who were there, either. I was sitting with WGTY/York, PA PD Scott Donato, KAJA/San Antonio MD Bree Wagner and WMAD/Madison MD Abby Zellmer, all of who were genuinely touched by this historic moment.
"What do you say? The man is a living legend and it was a bittersweet night. It was so cool being at a George Strait show, but on the other hand I was sad that the cowboy was riding away. George Strait is a living legend." - Abby Zellmer
"Though we all have our favorite songs, the set list didn't matter Saturday night. As I sat there, mesmerized for three-plus hours, I realized that there is no word that could accurately describe how beloved George Strait is. One poignant moment for me was listening to a group of teens and twenty-something's near our group sing along loudly to every word of 'Murder On Music Row.' I just kept thinking that, thanks to George, this format will always have a center, no matter what fads come and go." -Scott Donato
"The show was by far the best event that I have ever witnessed. I will never forget the 104k+ people singing along to all 41 songs that he sang throughout the night. Being there was literally witnessing Country music history. I am beyond blessed to have been a part of the King's departure." - Bree Wagner
Right before George stepped off the stage he said to the crowd, "All you people out there, thank you so much for the support you've given me throughout the years."
I wanted to scream back, "No, thank YOU!"
So here it is: Thank you for always staying true to who you are, staying true to Country music, and for being one of the best there ever was, or will be, in this format.
Here is George Strait's complete set list from Saturday night:
- "Check Yes or No"
- "A Fire I Can't Put Out"
- "Lovebug" with Special Guest Vince Gill
- "Does Ft. Worth Ever Cross Your Mind" with Special Guest Vince Gill
- "River of Love"
- "Lead On"
- "Fool Hearted Memory" with Special Guest Jason Aldean
- "Nobody in His Right Mind Would Have Left Her" with Special Guest Jason Aldean
- "Arkansas Dave"
- "I Saw God Today"
- "Cowboys Like Us" with Special Guest Eric Church
- "Easy Come Easy Go" with Special Guest Eric Church
- "The King of Breaking Hearts"
- "Marina Del Rey"
- "Here For A Good Time" with Special Guest Sheryl Crow
- "When Did You Stop Loving Me" with Special Guest Sheryl Crow
- "I Can Still Make Cheyenne"
- "Drinkin' Man"
- "Jackson" with Special Guest Martina McBride
- "Golden Ring" with Special Guest Martina McBride
- Military Warrior Support Foundation Home Giveaway
- "Give It Away"
- "I Got A Car"
- "A Showman's Life" with Special Guest Faith Hill
- "Let's Fall To Pieces Together" with Special Guest Faith Hill
- "I Believe"
- "Blame It On Mexico"
- "Amarillo By Morning" with Special Guest Alan Jackson
- "Murder On Music Row" with Special Guest Alan Jackson
- "The Chair"
- "Give It All We Got Tonight"
- "How 'Bout Them Cowgirls" with Special Guest Miranda Lambert
- "Run" with Special Guest Miranda Lambert
- "You Look So Good In Love"
- "I'll Always Remember You"
- "Ocean Front Property" with Special Guest Kenny Chesney
- "The Fireman" with Special Guest Kenny Chesney
- Encore (Strait was joined by all special guests):
- "All My Ex's Live In Texas"
- "Folsom Prison Blues"
- "The Cowboy Rides Away"