It was a classic country opening line. “Well excuse me, but I think you’ve got my chair…” That’s how George Strait begins the conversation with the stranger who walks into the bar, in his memorable country hit ‘The Chair.’
Twenty minutes after starting to devise it at the end of an all-night writing session, Hank Cochran and Dean Dillon had a song. Less than three minutes after singing that introduction, Strait has a new love, and he’s already admitting to her: “Oh I like you too, and to tell you the truth…that wasn’t my chair after all.”
On 21 December 1985, this charming MCA single, a real sleeper hit, completed a three-month climb from its chart entry, at No. 65, to the top of the US country countdown. It was backed on the b-side by ‘In Too Deep,’ and after two earlier 45s that year which had both peaked at No. 5 (‘The Cowboy Rides Away’ and ‘The Fireman’), it restored Strait to the summit, for his seventh No. 1.
Before that, he’d notched five chart-toppers in a row, including ‘A Fire I Can’t Put Out’ and ‘Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind.’ Like most of Strait’s singles, ‘The Chair’ was on the bestsellers for a good five months, in this case notching no fewer than 22 weeks on the Billboard survey.
‘The Chair’ was the lead track from George’s fifth studio album Something Special, released in the late summer of 1985 and of extra historical interest as MCA’s first to appear on both vinyl album and CD. As the single spent its one week at the top, the album was nudged off its No. 1 perch by Gary Morris’ Anything Goes. But by February 1986, Something Special was gold, and ten years later it turned platinum.
‘The Chair’ is on Something Special, which can be bought here.
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