31 Years Ago: George Strait Earns First No. 1 Hit With ‘Fool Hearted Memory’
It’s been 31 years since George Strait earned his first No. 1 hit with ‘Fool Hearted Memory.’ The Texan’s first single from his sophomore album, ‘Strait From the Heart,’ shot to the top of the charts, paving the way for 59 more singles to follow. The song reached No. 1 on Aug. 28, 1982.
‘Fool Hearted Memory’ was Strait’s fourth career single. The song, written by Byron Hill and Blake Mevis, was penned for a movie titled ‘The Soldier,’ and called on the relatively unknown Strait to sing for the soundtrack.
“I had written a song for a movie called ‘The Exterminator,’” Hill recalls to Country Weekly. “The same company came to my publisher and wanted a song for ‘The Soldier.’ But there was more to it. The studio wanted a major label artist to record the song and perform it in the movie. And they would only commit to the song if it was released as a single.”
The film was not a success, but the song, which was also Hill’s first No. 1, helped Strait’s career take off. “George was just starting to happen and was very open to the idea of being on a movie soundtrack,” Hill tells American Songwriter. “The song, which was really going to be pretty insignificant in the scheme of things, turned out to be a lot bigger than the movie.”
In addition to earning a total of 60 No. 1 hits, Strait went on to sell more than 70 million albums. He is the only artist in the history of music to have a Top 10 hit every year for 30 years.