38 Years Ago: George Strait Takes “The Chair” To No. 1
2 mins read

38 Years Ago: George Strait Takes “The Chair” To No. 1

The backstory behind George Strait classic “The Chair” unveils a tipsy yet creative genesis.

In the vibrant ’80s, Strait’s ascendancy as the King of Country Music soared with numerous accolades and chart-topping hits, including this clever single from Something Special.

During a Caribbean retreat with songwriter Hank Cochran and Royce Porter, celebrating their successful compositions for Keith Whitley, a whiskey-fueled night led to Dean Dillon’s intoxication by 4 AM. The songs they were celebrating writing the songs “Miami, My Amy” and “Homecoming ’63.”

Porter flew back to Nashville, but Dillon and Cochran were celebrating their two songs, knowing they were going to be huge hits.

“By about four in the morning, I had drunk so much whiskey that I had actually drunk myself sober; I didn’t know you could do that, but I did it,” Dillon told Texas Monthly. “I was tired though, and it was four in the morning again, like it always seemed to be for me and Hank. And I don’t know what happened, but then Hank sat down in a chair across from me, and I looked at him, picked up the guitar, struck a G chord, and started singing, ‘Well, excuse me, but I think you’ve got my chair.’ And he said, ‘Have you written that song?’ I said, ‘No.’ And he said, ‘Well, we’re about to.’ And 45 minutes later, we’d written ‘The Chair’.”

The two wrote the first half of the first verse extremely fast. They knew right away they wanted it to be a conversation song with no chorus, just repeating melody.

Then they got stuck. Cochran went outside to grab a beer and brainstorm a little more.

After 15 minutes, he came back and suggested the lyrics, “Well, thank you, can I drink you a buy? Aw, listen to me, what I mean is, can I buy you a drink? Anything you please.

Dillion’s initial thought was, “Man, that is either the craziest damn thing I ever heard of in my life, or this guy’s brilliant.

crafting a conversational verse and a nervous yet endearing narrator. Amidst recording the demo, the trio conceived another hit, “Ocean Front Property,” adding another chapter to Strait’s musical legacy.

Watch George Strait’s music video for “The Chair” below.

And check out songwriter Dean Dillon performing “The Chair” below!


Share this: