George Strait Sings Debut Single, “Unwound,” On A Boat In Early 80s

James Stiltner / YouTube

George Strait released a few songs before he made his major label debut. But those early tracks failed to take off. Strait finally struck gold in 1981 when he released his first single from a major label…a song called “Unwound.”

But if history went another way, “Unwound” never would have been Strait’s song to sing.

Dean Dillon and Frank Dycus co-wrote “Unwound.” They originally wanted to give the song to Johnny Paycheck, the country music outlaw famous for singing “Take This Job and Shove It.”

However, Paycheck was unable to record the song. Reason being? He was in jail at the time.

Since Paycheck couldn’t sing “Unwound,” it was available for another artist to claim. Blake Mevis, who was a record producer, came to Dillon and Dycus and asked if they had any songs he could give to Strait. They decided to give him “Unwound.”

In doing so, the songwriters offered Strait the single that kickstarted his decades-long career. “Unwound” was a quick hit, and peaked at the sixth spot on the chart.

Furthermore, “Unwound” led to a longtime partnership between Strait and Dillon. Dillon has since written or co-written dozens of other songs for Strait, including iconic tunes such as “The Chair,” “Ocean Front Property,” and “If I Know Me.”

Since releasing “Unwound,” Strait has gone on to earn a total of 61 number one hits. He holds the record for the most number one country singles of all time.

If you’d like to see Strait sing “Unwound” during the early years of his career, you’re in luck. Years ago, we found a video of a young Strait singing “Unwound” on a boat. It’s an incredible clip that perfectly showcases Strait’s natural talent.

Be sure to watch the video of a young Strait singing “Unwound” below. It’s so cool to see “The King of Country” this early on in his career!