The reign of King George will continue.
George Strait may claim that he is riding away - at least from touring - but fortunately he's not retiring to the farm just yet.
On Wednesday, one of the purest singers out there, announced he was signing with the only label he has ever known - MCA - for five more albums.
During a gala event in Nashville, label head Mike Dungan said, "George Strait, the artist, the performer, the personality, the man, simply defines country music, yesterday, today and tomorrow. I can't tell you what a pleasure and a privilege it is to work with this artist, and what an honor it is to represent the man and the music. We know the best is yet to come."
I'm not sure that there was any question whether King George would re-up with MCA. If there was, the label is nutsy because Strait is one of the ultra-few traditional country performers out there. He's pretty much money in the bank with hit singles. Whether that translates into much money...
In this day and age of poor record sales for all, hopefully the idea of having someone along the lines of Strait counts for something as a cache value for the company. Kind of like Columbia Records hanging with Bob Dylan for decades despite - in most cases - record sales that are not stellar.
"It seems like yesterday I signed with MCA. I was homeless, so to speak, back then, as far as the music business goes and MCA gave me a home," said Strait. "I'll always appreciate that. I still have a home, and I'm looking forward to a whole lot more."
Strait has been with MCA for more than 32 years. He has put out 40 studio albums and registered a record 60 number one hits.
Strait has never been a flashy, in your face kind of performer a la Garth Brooks, for example. He's sort of more slow and steady, but it's a pleasure to have seen the country crooner in concert along with his Ace in the Hole Band.
About the only thing mystifying to me is why he took so so so long to get into the hang of songwriting. Let's hope that continues for at least the next five albums.
Strait may be ending his tour days - although we will see if that holds true - but fortunately we will have a lot more songs to hear in the coming years from Strait.