Story Behind the Song: George Strait, ‘Blue Clear Sky’
In March of 1996, George Strait released "Blue Clear Sky" as the first single from his album of the same name. Written by Bob DiPiero, John Jarrard and Mark D. Sanders, Strait recorded the song at Nashville's Emerald Studios -- but not before asking a few questions about its origin.
Following its release, "Blue Clear Sky" hit No. 1 on the country charts. The album has been certified platinum three times and earned Album of the Year at both the CMAs and ACMs. Below, DiPiero tells The Boot about how the movie Forrest Gump inspired the hit song -- and about a memorable phone call with Strait regarding the tune.
This song got written because I went to see the movie Forrest Gump. In the movie, Forrest talks about, "Life is like a box of chocolates." And also, he was talking about his girlfriend, Jenny, and how she would come and go out of his life. At one point, he says, "And out of the blue clear sky, Jenny came back." And I was listening, thinking, "Hey! It's clear blue sky, it's not blue clear sky!" Just that little turn of phrase stuck in my head.
The next day, I was writing with John Jarrard and Mark D. Sanders. I said, "I have this idea: "blue clear sky." And they said, "Well, that's backwards!" [Laughs] I said, "I know that" ... and we wrote it anyway!
We demo-ed it, and about a month later, I got a phone call from [producer] Tony Brown. He said, "I'm in the studio with George Strait, and we want to cut your song -- but George has a question for you!" So George comes on the phone and says, "I'm from Texas ... and Texas is clear blue sky. You think it ought to be clear blue sky?" And I was shocked by the fact that George Strait was on the phone asking about this! So I told him about going to see Forrest Gump, and life was like a box of chocolates ... and that he said "blue clear sky." I told him the song is all about just giving up on love and then, out of nowhere, out of the blue clear sky, comes the love of your life.
And George was kind of quiet for a while, and then he says, "Well, you think there's many Gumpsters out there?" [Laughs] And I said, "Well, yeah, I do!" And he says, "Well, all right then, we'll be Gumpsters!" And he said, "Adios," and he hung up.
It's amazing ... The song went on to be the title track of his album, a No. 1 song for four or five weeks ... and the album was CMA and ACM Album of the Year.
This story was originally written by Marianne Horner, and revised by Angela Stefano.
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