Story Behind the Song: George Strait’s ‘I Cross My Heart’
By Dave Paulson
Oct. 22, 2019
Mister D: I just took excerpts from this article. You can find it in full here Also, I’m guessing it was for ‘The Rose’ soundtrack by some of the conversations mentioned.
It took 10 years for Steve Dorff to find a home for “I Cross My Heart,” a ballad he penned with Eric Kaz. That decade included a failed attempt by Bette Midler to make the song her own. Finally, it found a home with George Strait and the closing credits of his 1992 film “Pure Country.”
“Of all the stories of all my songs, this one really has a great story. When Kaz and I finished the song, I thought it was a Boyz II Men kind of song. We demoed it that way. It’s a great demo. Done in this very cool, R&B, vibey, Boyz II Men thing. Played it for a bunch of people and (they said), “Not one of your best, Steve.”
I thought it was a really cool song. I go in with a singer that did a lot of demos for me, Suzie Benson. We made this terrific little piano vocal version. Bette Midler cuts it.
Bette cuts it to Arif Mardin, who calls me and says, “Dust off your shelf for an Oscar. This is going to be in the movie. This is going to be unbelievable.” I’m getting excited. I’m really excited. I get a call about three weeks later from Arif saying, “Bette just doesn’t like herself on this. It’s not working for her. We tried. We went in again. We sang it three, four times. She’s just not happy with it, so we’re going to take it off the album.”
Dorff is asked if he had heard Bette’s version. “Oh yeah. It was terrible. Not good. To her credit, she knew that it wasn’t the right song for her voice. For me, the true test of a hit is also the marriage of a great song with the right artist.”
Mister D: Basically, some 10 years later the song was a monster hit for George Strait. It was from the movie, “Pure Country”.