George Strait’s Longtime Manager, Erv Woolsey, Passes Away At 80

George Strait country music
Courtesy of The Erv Woolsey Co.

RIP Erv Woolsey.

This morning in Clearwater, Florida, due to complications from a surgery, George Strait’s longtime manager passed away at the age of 80. Born on February 15th, 1944 in Houston, Texas, Woolsey was an artist manager and record promotion executive.

He most famously managed the career of The King of country music, but also worked with Lee Ann Womack, Dierks Bentley, Clay Walker, Country Music Hall of Famer Ronnie Milsap, and many others.

Woolsey graduated from Southwest Texas State University in 1969, starting at Decca Records and working his way up at various record companies from there. Woolsey and his then-wife Connie also owned The Prairie Rose in San Marcos, Texas, where Woolsey first saw and met George Strait.

Clearly, he had an eye for talent, and it was Woolsey who convinced MCA Records label head Jim Foglesong to sign George Strait to a record deal at MCA Records, which is still his label home to this day.

Strait famously released “Unwound” as his debut single in 1981, and it peaked at #6 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. The rest, as they say, is glorious country music history, and in 1984, Woolsey left MCA to become a full-time manager for Strait.

The King says Erv will be greatly missed, and “it won’t ever be the same” without his friend of over 45 years:

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

Woolsey served on the Board of Directors for the Country Music Association, as well as the Tennessee Museum of History. He is survived by his son Clint, ex-wife Connie, brother David and sister Beth, and preceded in death by his parents, John and Mavis Woolsey, and brother Johnny Woolsey.

The country music world certainly lost a legend, and I”ll be turning this one up in his honor today.

RIP Erv Woolsey.


A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock