Ace in the Hole worked with D Records in the late 1970s, but the band ultimately failed (though they do still play as George Strait's band under the same name). George Strait decided to try a solo career, and signed with MCA Records in 1980. "Unwound" was his first single and his first hit, which was followed by 'Down and Out" and then a whole series of #1 singles, beginning with "Fool Hearted Memory" in 1982. He was one of the best-selling country singers of the 1980s, and one of the few from that decade who survived the influx of pop-country singers like Garth Brooks in the early 1990s. As at the beginning of 2003, George had made 38 # 1 singles, 2 less than Conway Twitty who is the only country music singer to exceed that total.
His 2003 albums are: For the Last Time: Live From the Astrodome and Honkytonkville.