The 1984 #1 country hit certainly would have sounded very, very different.

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
October 20, 2020
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When it comes to country breakup songs, it's hard to outshine George Strait's "Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind." Just take the evocative gut punch that is the tune's opening lines: "Cold Fort Worth beer just ain't no good for jealous / I tried it night after night / You're in someone else's arms in Dallas / Does Fort Worth ever cross your mind? / Darlin', while you're busy burnin' bridges / Burn one for me when you get time / 'Cause good memories don't fade so easy/ Does Fort Worth ever cross your mind?"

It doesn't get much more cutting than that, right? Well, can you imagine if the one-and-only Reba McEntire were belting out those verses? Turns out, the famed Okie singer was once offered this Texas-centric tune.

Per Rolling Stone, late songwriter Sanger “Whitey” Shafer penned the song with his wife Darlene, and it was first recorded by country music artist Moe Bandy for his 1977 album I'm Sorry For You My Friend. While many know the song thanks to its chart-topping success from George Strait's 1984 eponymous album Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind, it turns out McEntire had a shot at recording the song, too.

"After [George Strait's Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind] album came out, it was learned that Reba McEntire had been offered 'Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind' before it had been pitched to George. However, she passed on the song because it contained a line about beer," writes Arden Lambert in a 2018 article for CountryThangDaily.com.

We can't help but wonder if the native Oklahoman also passed on the song due to a lack of interest in warbling about love beyond state lines thanks to her loyalty to the Sooner State. Either way, we're glad this beautiful country music song wound up in good hands with Strait, a Poteet, Texas, native to boot. Does a Reba duet version ever cross your mind though, Mr. Strait?