1989 | #1
Written by veteran songwriter Sanger D. “Whitey” Shafer (who had previously supplied Strait with hits such as “Does Forth Worth Ever Cross Your Mind” and “All My Ex’s Live In Texas”), “Overnight Success” was released in the fall of 1989 as fourth and final single from George Strait’s album Beyond the Blue Neon. It peaked at a respectable #8, breaking a streak of eleven number-one hits, but continuing Strait’s run of Top Ten hits that stretched back seven years.
It’s a beautiful lyric, as one would expect from a songwriter such as Shafer, and Strait sings it effectively. Where the song comes up short is in the repetitive, limited-range melody, which lacks the pull needed to match the lyrical potency. The steel guitar imbues a fittingly mournful undertone to the song, but the composite recording has a lackadaisical feel that keeps the record from being as satisfying a listen as it could have been, or from being as memorable as Strait’s similar efforts in this vein.
Sanger D. Shafer
Listen: Overnight Success
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