Probably one of the most iconic of all time, "The Cowboy Rides Away" was written by Sonny Throckmorton and Casey Kelly. It was a surprise hit and is regarded as a true country classic. It was released as the second single from Strait's 1985 album Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind, and peaked at number 5 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart. It was also the name of Strait's final concert tour, which commenced January 18, 2013.
The song is named for its use of color as the main motif, which was used to great effect by the artists behind it. It is also an excellent example of the importance of technology in modern music making.
Jon Pardi was on the ball with this release, as was the song's director of photography, Carlos Ruiz. He incorporated the most technologically advanced gadgets in the music video, which is a testament to Pardi's ability to combine the right elements into the right mix.
The song is the logical next step from Strait's earlier efforts in this arena. It is a no brainer that the song has been ranked by the likes of Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly among the top country songs of all time.