Portal:Houston/Music, Arts & Culture/August 2007
Urban Cowboy is a 1980 American drama film about the love-hate relationship between cowboy Bud Davis (John Travolta) and cowgirl Sissy (Debra Winger). The movie starts out with Bud Davis moving to Pasadena, Texas from Spur, Texas. He soon finds work at an oil refinery with his uncle Bob. Bud quickly discovers and embraces the city's nightlife, which is centered around a bar called "Gilley’s" (a real country bar owned by country singer Mickey Gilley).
The movie's screenplay was adapted by Aaron Latham and James Bridges from an article in a men's magazine on Western nightlife written by Latham. The movie was directed by Bridges. The movie spawned a hit soundtrack album featuring such songs as Johnny Lee's "Looking for Love", Mickey Gilley's "Stand By Me" "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" sung by the Charlie Daniels Band, the mega Anne Murray hit "Could I Have This Dance"(#3 A/C) and the top 5 hit "Love The World Away" by country superstar Kenny Rogers. The film is said to have started the 80's boom in country music appeal. The film grossed almost $54 million in the United States alone, more than Saturday Night Fever (plus a further $24,000,000 in video rentals) and is considered to be John Travolta's last major hit before a series of flops in the upcoming decade.