Voiceover by Lawrence Standifer Stevens
Written by Joseph E. Casanova
After hitting the big screen in 1980, Urban Cowboy remains one of the most popular films all of time, bringing country music to a new legion of fans.
Before George Strait, Garth Brooks and Clint Black hit the country scene, Hollywood introduced John Travolta as the original “hat act” in 1980 with a starring role in Urban Cowboy. [Buy the Urban Cowboy OST on iTunes.]
After attaining international success with Saturday Night Fever and Grease, Travolta continued his cinematic hot streak with Urban Cowboy.
The movie centered on the tempestuous relationship between Travolta’s character Bud and girlfriend Sissy, played by two-time Oscar nominee Debra Winger.
The lovers met at Pasadena’s legendary honkytonk Gilley’s, owned by country superstar Mickey Gilley, who also made a cameo appearance.
To help commemorate the film’s 35th anniversary, Gilley will tour this summer with opening act Johnny Lee. Both contributed songs to the platinum soundtrack, including his cover of “Stand by Me” and Lee’s crossover hit “Looking for Love.”
Growing up in a small South Texas town, Urban Cowboy and its music had a profound impact on us.
We traded our leisure suits and platform shoes for blue jeans, cowboy boots and cowboy hats. Instead of dancing the hustle, we learned how to two-step, stroll and waltz all over again.
Our personal favorite was the “Cotton-Eye Joe” because we could say “bullshit” without getting in trouble.
The only thing missing was the infamous mechanical bull. Gilley’s had one so how come none of the dance halls back home had any? That’s one mystery to ponder for the ages.
Now it's time to polish up them Ropers and starch up them Wranglers. We’s a-goin’ two-steppin’ tonight. Yee-haw!!!!!!!!!!!
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