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Chris Le Doux, a real-life rodeo champion who also built a do-it-yourself career as a country act, cut a version a few years later, which found its way to Strait, who made the song his own.
Stafford sang it with a crooner’s quaver, and Le Doux intoned the lyrics wistfully, accompanied by a harmonica.
Strait prefers to give his audience as few distractions as possible: he likes to play on a stage in the center of the arena floor, with four microphones arranged like compass points; every two songs, he moves, counterclockwise, to the next microphone, so that people in each quadrant of the crowd can feel as if he were singing just to them.
Because he was playing in the round, there was no backdrop, and nothing in the way of pyrotechnics, with the important exception of that smile.
“We have a lot of songs to play for you tonight, a whole lot,” he said, and then he didn’t say much more.His onstage outfit, which has barely changed in forty years, includes, along with the cowboy hat and cowboy boots, a button-down shirt and bluejeans, ironed stiff enough to form an exoskeleton.A promotional contract obliges him to wear Wrangler jeans, and decades of ranching and roping inclines him to wear them stacked—that is, long and bunched up, so that he could, if necessary, mount a horse without fear of exposing any extra boot.“If you leave me, I won’t miss you,” he declares, at the start of “Ocean Front Property,” followed by a chorus made up of declarations that are, likewise, lies.“I’ve got some oceanfront property in Arizona / From my front porch, you can see the sea,” he sings.