The country star made his visit alongside his wife Norma and their young son Bubba; both Strait and his son wore jackets and ties for the occasion. The president in office at the time was George H.W. Bush, and the picture shows the Strait family paying their respects to him as he focused on an item on his desk.
“Happy President’s Day!” Strait commented on Twitter, where he shared the photo. “Here’s a throwback to when George, Norma and Bubba Strait visited the late George H.W. Bush in the Oval Office.”
President Bush — whose son, George W. Bush, would go on to hold the same office beginning in 2001 — was elected as the 41st U.S. president in the 1988 general election. His term lasted from 1989 to 1993, at which point he was succeeded by Bill Clinton.
While in office, the elder President Bush invited a number of country artists to visit and perform in the White House. Loretta Lynn, Reba McEntire and Barbara Mandrell were just a few of the stars who gave performances there during his term, according to The Eagle.
Bush’s love of country-gospel act the Oak Ridge Boys is well documented, and in 1997, the band performed during the opening festivities at his presidential library. In 2012, when he was hospitalized during a bout of bronchitis, the Oaks again performed for him, this time over the phone. Over the years, Bush became personal friends with the quartet, and they performed “Amazing Grace” at his funeral in 2018.
For his part, Strait met and performed for the former president several times over the years, and always made sure to honor Bush as both a president and a fellow Texan throughout his career. At the 2019 Houston Rodeo, Strait’s performance drew in a record-breaking 80,108 audience members, per Southern Living — and a pair of engraved seats were reserved in memory of George H.W. and Barbara Bush, who both died the year prior.
In an interview with CMT in 2004, Strait also revealed that Bush had a special fondness for one of his hit songs in particular: 1990’s “Love Without End, Amen.”
“As it turned out, President [George H.W.] Bush told me it was one of his favorite songs that I ever did, so I was pretty proud of that, and I ended up doing it for him at Camp David,” the singer said, adding that, in fact, he wound up having to deliver that performance twice.
“There was a lot of stuff going on at the time. He was in and out. And right when I started doing it, he got a phone call and had to leave the room,” Strait recalls of that event. “So when he came back, he asked me if I would do it again, and I said, ‘Of course’ …
“It was his last trip to Camp David when we got invited to go and spend that time with them, which was one of the highlights of my whole career in country music,” Strait added.
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