George Strait Mourns the Loss of His Longtime Manager, Erv Woolsey

George Strait is mourning the loss of his longtime manager, Erv Woolsey, who passed away due to complications from surgery. Woolsey was 80 when he passed away. The country music icon shared a heartfelt post on social media,

“My manager for around 45 years and most importantly my friend for even longer, Erv Woolsey, passed away this morning,” Strait writes. “He had complications from a surgery and just couldn’t overcome it. He was a very tough man, and fought hard, but sadly it was just too much. We will miss him so very much and will never forget all the time we had together. Won’t ever be the same without him.”

“My manager for around 45 years and most importantly my friend for even longer, Erv Woolsey, passed away this morning….

Posted by George Strait on Wednesday, March 20, 2024


It was Woolsey who first saw Strait perform, at a club called The Prairie Rose in Texas, which Woolsey owned. Woolsey, who worked at several record labels before managing Strait, convinced then-label head at MCA Records, Jim Foglesong, to sign Strait in 1981. In 1984, Woolsey left MCA Records to devote himself full-time to Strait’s career, managing Strait until he passed away.

Throughout Woolsey’s career at record labels, he is credited with bringing artists lke Barbara Mandrell, Don Williams, Loretta Lynn, Tanya Tucker, Conway Twitty, The Oak Ridge Boys and Lee Greenwood to prominence on the radio. In addition to Strait, in recent years, Woolsey also managed.Ian Munsick, Davisson Brothers Band, Kylie Frey, Triston Marez, Nick Davisson, Zach Neil, Stone Senate and Vince Herman in recent years.

Woolsey’s business savvy extended beyond country music. He also owned the popular Nashville bar, Losers, which he followed with Winners and later Dawg House.

The Country Music Hall of Fame’s CEO, Kyle Young, also spoke out on the loss of Woolsey, and his impact on country music, and especially Strait.

“Without the savvy and determination of Erv Woolsey, we may never have heard of George Strait,” Young said in a statement. “Erv heard Strait in a Texas bar in 1975 and was an immediate fan and proponent, when others said the singer sounded too traditional. Later, as an MCA Records exec, Erv pushed the label to sign Strait in 1981. And when execs urged Strait to change his image and his sound, Erv as his manager backed Strait’s determination to stay true to himself.

“You know the rest,’ he continued. “Strait became a superstar who filled stadiums, and together Strait and Erv helped lead country music back to its traditions. All of us owe Erv Woolsey an enormous debt of gratitude for leading with his convictions and always supporting artists and new talent.”

Funeral details have yet to be announced. Everything Nash extends our deepest condolences to Strait, as well as to Woolsey’s family.