Country music isn’t about tears, beers, love, and loss for no reason. They are the stories we have lived. The stories we love because of that. And for a lot of artists, they are their own personal tragedies. Art imitates life and sometimes life is tragic. Such is the case for George Strait. This is the incredibly sad story of how he lost his first child, daughter Jenifer Strait. And what he did to move through that loss.
A Good Year
1986 looked to be a good year for George Strait. An amazing one, actually. In May of that year he produced his 7th studio album, Greatest Hits. The album went certified Platinum. It also took the top spot on the country charts.
And along with hits already familiar to listeners, it also produced two new singles, “Nobody in His Right Mind Would’ve Left Her” and “It Ain’t Cool to Be Crazy About You.” Both of those took the No. 1 spot on the country charts.
So just 5 months into the year, George Strait was already sitting on top. Who knew that just over a month later, tragedy would strike. The kind that leaves an indelible mark. The kind after which nothing will ever be the same.
George Strait has a wonderful love story behind his career. He and his wife, Norma, grew up in the same hometown– Pearsall, Texas. In an interview, Strait acknowledged that he “never really even thought anything about her.” But then, “One day I asked her out and we went on a date. We didn’t see each other for a long time after that. Then one day, I thought, ‘I’m missing the boat here,’ and we started dating again.”
It wasn’t long before the two wed. They actually eloped in Mexico on December 4, 1971. This was just before Strait left for the Army. The two didn’t waste any time before starting their family (though that may not have actually been planned–they’ve never said). Regardless, less than a year later, Norma gave birth to their first child. Jenifer Lynn Strait, born October 6, 1972. Her brother, Bubba, came along nine years later in 1981.
They are the only two children of their marriage.