Strait began his musical interest while attending Pearsall High School, where he played in a rock and roll garage band. The Beatles were popular when Strait was in high school. “The Beatles were big”, Strait confirmed. “I listened to them a lot and that whole bunch of groups that were popular then”. George Strait in all the world you will never find a love as true as mine shirt. His musical preference soon turned to country with singers Hank Thompson, Lefty Frizzell, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Bob Wills, Hank Williams, and Frank Sinatra influencing his style. Strait did not tune to the country music radio often as a youth, usually listening to the news and the farmer’s report. His introduction to country music came mostly by way of live performances, which, according to Strait, could be heard in every town in Texas.
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While George Strait continued to play with his band, without any real connections to the recording industry, Strait became friends with Erv Woolsey, who operated one of the bars in which the Ace in the Hole band played, and who had previously worked for the major label MCA Records. George Strait Woolsey convinced some of his Music Row (Nashville) connections to come to Texas and to listen to Strait and his band play. Impressed with the performance, but concerned that they couldn’t market the Western Swing sound that the band featured, they left without a deal.