The Story Behind The Song: “Ocean Front Property”

Porter and Cochran both contributed to the session, but once the songs that involved them were finished (at around 8:00 p.m.), they wandered off to another office in the studio. Dillon finally noticed they were gone and asked the engineer where they went. He said they were in the back room writing a song. Dean said, “They ain’t gonna write no song on my session without me!” so he went back there and found that Royce and Hank had already completed the first verse to “Ocean Front Property.” They kidded Dean about being a “Johnny come lately,” but told him that if he could come up with a bridge and a second verse, they’d let him get away with it this time.

After about an hour, they three men had “Ocean Front Property” completed but, as it turned out, all three were the last to recognize its potential. Porter insists they weren’t all that impressed with the song. They liked it, but didn’t think it was near as big a record as it turned out to be. The guys compared their opinion of “Ocean Front Property” to the time Boudleaux Bryant walked into Wesley Rose’s office, threw a tape down on his desk and said, “Do somethin’ with this – if you can.” It turned out to be “Rocky Top.”

George Strait saw the value in “Ocean Front Property,” however. While flying from Texas back to Nashville the day before the session, he came up with an interweaving fiddle/steel guitar pattern and Johnny Gimble and Paul Franklin created the exact interlocking melody he desired. The result was Strait’s tenth of his record-setting 44 number ones (the authentic, official and accurate Billboard count), landing at the summit April 4, 1987. 

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