• The Original Gene Watson Fan Site

  • Gene Watson: 'Real Country Music' (Fourteen Carat Music, 2016)

  • Gene Watson: 'Back in the Fire & At Last' (Morello Records, 2016) / this album was officially released on Friday 11 November 2016

  • Gene Watson's Calendar

  • The Original Gene Watson Fan Site

  • Gene Watson Guitars by Summey

  • The Original Gene Watson Fan Site

  • The Original Gene Watson Fan Site

  • Gene Watson at The Opry in Nashville

  • The Original Gene Watson Fan Site

Management


Lytle Management Group
P.O. Box 128228
Nashville, TN 37212
Contact Sarah Brosmer
Telephone 615-770-2688

Bookings



Battle Artist Agency
8887 Horton Highway,
College Grove, TN
Contact Rob Battle
office: 615-368-7433
mobile: 615-957-3444

Webster PR



Webster Public Relations
, PO Box 23015, Nashville, TN 37202

Contact Scott Adkins
Telephone 615-777-6995

Gene Watson's Peers within the country music industry believe in the sheer talent of this unassuming man from east Texas, so much so that Gene is regarded by many of them as 'the singer's singer' - and rightly so!

All of Gene Watson's Peers, who were contacted during 2013, were most gracious with their time and words.

It is here, within this special part of The Gene Watson Fan Site, that you have an opportunity to read a quote from Merle Haggard, which he submitted to this site on Thursday 25 April 2013.

Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say 'thank you' to Merle Haggard who made a special contribution to this unique part of this online 'celebration of a Lone Star Hero'.

Sean Brady would also like to say 'thank you' to Merle Haggard's acclaimed keyboard player, Doug Colosio, without whom this Gene Watson 'Peer's Quote' from Merle Haggard would not have been possible.



Merle Haggard
This quote was submitted on Thursday 25 April 2013.

'Doug Colosio (my acclaimed keyboard player and songwriter) and I talked about Gene today at rehearsal.

Dean Roe, who was my bus driver for years, used to listen to Gene while he was driving my tour bus.

I think that Gene is an 'awfully good singer'.

I think that he sounds a lot like Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975), which is quite a compliment from me, considering Lefty Frizzell is one of my favourite singers of all time.

It is always great to hear from folks who honour the original troubadours of country music.

Long live Willie Nelson, Ray Price (Tuesday 12 January 1926 - Monday 16 December 2013), Gene Watson, Charley Pride, George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013) (and myself!) and all the greats of country music who are still out there on the front lines!'

Thank you, Merle Haggard, for your support of Gene Watson.

About Merle Haggard...

Merle Haggard was born Merle Ronald Haggard was born on Tuesday 6 April 1937, outside Bakersfield, California. His parents, Jim and Flossie, moved the family there in 1934 after their farm in Oklahoma burned down, with Jim finding work as a carpenter for the Santa Fe Railroad. The family lived in an old boxcar that they converted into a home. Though struggling to make a meager living, they had a sturdy shelter and food was always on the table.

Things changed dramatically after Jim died of a stroke when Merle Haggard was nine years old. It was a devastating event for the young boy, who was very close to his father. His mother went to work as a bookkeeper to make ends meet, often leaving Merle in the care of a great aunt and uncle.

With his world turned upside down, Merle Haggard turned rebellious. He hopped a freight train when he was just ten years old, making it to Fresno before being picked up by the authorities. It was the first step toward a youth of truancy from school and petty crime. For the next few years, Merle Haggard would find himself in reform schools, sometimes making an escape, only to get thrown back in again.

The angel on his shoulder during these troubled times was Merle Haggard’s love and talent for music. Although he gave it up before Merle was born, his father used to play fiddle and guitar in Oklahoma for schoolhouse dances and social gatherings. Not having an automobile or formal instrument cases, the senior Haggard would ride his horse to these gatherings, carrying his fiddle on one side of the horse and the guitar on the other, in large pillowcases.

Still some of the musical gift had been passed on to Merle and he easily took to playing guitar. Starting out as a fan of Bob Wills (Monday 6 March 1905 - Tuesday 13 May 1975), Merle Haggard eventually found his musical idol in Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975), and worked up a pretty impressive copy of the original’s singing style.

'For three or four years I didn’t sing anything but Lefty Frizzell songs', Merle told Music City News. 'And then, because Lefty was a fan of Jimmie Rodgers (8 September 1897 - Friday 26 May 1933), I learned to imitate him too'.

In 1951, when he was fourteen years old, Merle Haggard got the chance to see Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975).

Merle Haggard was already starting to make small amounts of money here and there by playing music, but it wasn’t enough to keep him out of trouble. He left home, when he was fifteen years old, with a friend, and the two were picked up as suspects in a robbery. Although innocent, Merle ended up in jail for two-and-a-half weeks. It was the first time he tasted prison life, but it wasn’t the last. In and out of jail over the years for small crimes, Merle Haggard found himself doing serious time in San Quentin at the age of twenty.

In 1956, Merle Haggard married Billie Leona Hobbs Witherspoon; she was a waitress and Merle was, at this time, unknown as a singer. The couple's union lasted until 1964 and Billie Leona was the mother of Merle's singing sons, Marty Haggard and Noel Haggard.

Billie Leona passed away in Bakersfield, California on Sunday 9 July 2006.

Merle Haggard's musical ability offered him hope for the future. A fellow inmate at San Quentin, nicknamed Rabbit, saw that clearly. When Rabbit came up with an escape plan, he told Merle that he could come along, but probably shouldn’t, since he had a good shot of making a career from his singing.

As Rabbit had predicted, Merle Haggard’s music was his way out of a dead-end life of small crimes and intermittent jail time. Released from San Quentin in 1960, Merle Haggard joined the then thriving Bakersfield country music scene, which eschewed the smooth country-politan sound coming out of Nashville for a harder-hitting honky-tonk groove.

After making an impression working in local clubs, Merle Haggard joined Las Vegas star Wynn Stewart’s band in 1962 as a bassist. When he got a chance to record his own single, Merle Haggard chose the Wynn Stewart composition, 'Sing A Sad Song'. It was released on the small Tally Records label in 1964 and made it into the Top Twenty country music singles chart.

On Monday 28 June 1965, Merle Haggard married Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006): Bonnie was Merle Haggard's second wife and is the person who is credited with getting many of Merle's songs down on paper.

Merle Haggard's follow up singles didn’t do quite as well, until '(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers' went into the Billboard country music Top Ten and brought him to the attention of Capitol Records.

On Monday 6 September 1965, Merle Haggard saw the release of his debut album, 'Strangers' (Capitol Records, 1965), which included the following tracks, which were hits on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'Sing A Sad Song', which was written by Wynn Stewart (Thursday 7 June 1934 - Wednesday 17 July 1985) (No.19, 1963)
'Sam Hill' (No.45, 1964)
'(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers', which was written by Liz Anderson (Monday 13 January 1930 - Monday 31 October 2011) (No.10, 1964)
'I'm Gonna Break Every Heart I Can' (No.42, 1965)

In 1995, 'Strangers' (Capitol Records, 1965) was re-issued, on CD, by Koch Records.

On Monday 4 April 1966, Merle Haggard and Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) saw the release of 'Just Between The Two of Us' (Capitol Records, 1966), which included the following track, which was a hit on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'Just Between The Two Of Us', which was written by Liz Anderson (Monday 13 January 1930 - Monday 31 October 2011) (No.28, 1964)

Merle Haggard and Bonnie Owens' 'Just Between The Two Of Us' (Capitol Records, 1966) also included the following tracks:

'House Without Love (Is Not A Home)', which was written by Hank Williams (Monday 17 September 1923 - Thursday 1 January 1953)
'Slowly But Surely' (written by Fuzzy Owen)
'Our Hearts Are Holding Hands' (written by Bill Anderson)
'I Want To Live Again' (written by Fuzzy Owen)
'Forever And Ever', which was written by Buck Owens (Monday 12 August 1929 - Saturday 25 March 2006)
'That Makes Two Of Us', which was written by Liz Anderson (Monday 13 January 1930 - Monday 31 October 2011)
'I'll Take A Chance On Loving You', which was written by Buck Owens (Monday 12 August 1929 - Saturday 25 March 2006) and Lucy Cole
'Stranger In My Arms' (written by Fuzzy Owen and Wally Lewis)
'Too Used To Being With You' (written by Jack Rhodes and Don Carter)
'So Much For Me So Much For You', which was written by Liz Anderson (Monday 13 January 1930 - Monday 31 October 2011)
'Wait A Little Longer Please Jesus' (written by Hazel Houser and Chester Smith)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard and Bonnie Owens' 'Just Between The Two Of Us' (Capitol Records, 1966) included the following:

Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001), Phil Baugh and Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000) (guitar)
Ralph Mooney (steel guitar)
Bobby Austin, Bob Morris and Bert Dodson (bass)
Helen Price and Henry Sharpe (drums)
George French (piano)
Billy Mize (vocals)

On Monday 3 October 1966, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Swinging Doors & The Bottle Let Me Down' (Capitol Records, 1966), which included the following tracks, which were hits on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'Swinging Doors' (No.5, 1966)
'The Bottle Let Me Down' (No.3, 1966)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'Swinging Doors & The Bottle Let Me Down' (Capitol Records, 1966) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar)
James Burton (guitar, dobro)
Glen Campbell (guitar)
Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001), Phil Baugh, Jack Collier and Lewis Talley (guitar)
Ralph Mooney (steel guitar)
George French and Glen D. Hardin (piano)
Bob Morris, Bert Dodson and Jerry Ward (bass)
Jim Gordon and Helen 'Peaches' Price (drums)
Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) (harmony vocals) and Billy Mize

On Monday 4 March 1967, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'I'm A Lonesome Fugitive' (Capitol Records, 1967), which included the following tracks, which were hits on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'The Fugitive' (later titled 'I'm A Lonesome Fugitive' on the album) (No.1, Monday 4 March 1967)

'The Fugitive' (later titled 'I'm A Lonesome Fugitive'), which was written by Liz Anderson (Monday 13 January 1930 - Monday 31 October 2011) and Casey Anderson (parents of country music singer Lynn Anderson) was Merle Haggard's first No.1 hit on the Billboard country music singles chart, spending one week at No.1 in early 1967 and fifteen weeks on the chart. The B-side, 'Someone Told My Story' (written by Merle Haggard), peaked at No.32 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1967.

Merle Haggard's 'I'm A Lonesome Fugitive' (Capitol Records, 1967) also included 'My Rough And Rowdy Ways', which was written by Jimmie Rodgers (8 September 1897 - Friday 26 May 1933) and 'Mixed Up Mess Of A Heart', which was written by Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000) and Merle Haggard.

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'I'm A Lonesome Fugitive' (Capitol Records, 1967) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar)
James Burton (guitar, dobro)
Glen Campbell, Billy Mize and Lewis Talley (guitar)
Ralph Mooney (steel guitar)
Glen D. Hardin (piano)
Jerry Ward (bass)
James Gordon (drums)
Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) (harmony vocals)

In 1996, 'I'm A Lonesome Fugitive' (Capitol Records, 1967) was re-issued by BGO Records (7 St Andrews Street, North Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 1TZ, England), along with 'Mama Tried' (Capitol Records, 1968).

On Monday 28 August 1967, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Branded Man/I Threw Away The Rose' (Capitol Records, 1967), which included the following tracks, which were hits on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'I Threw Away The Rose' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.2, 1967)
'Branded Man' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.1, Saturday 2 September 1967)

Merle Haggard's 'Branded Man/I Threw Away The Rose' (Capitol Records, 1967) also included the following tracks:

'Loneliness Is Eating Me Alive', which as written by Hank Cochran (Friday 2 August 1935 - Thursday 15 July 2010)
'Don't Get Married', which was written by Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000)
'Somewhere Between', which was written by Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) and Merle Haggard
'You Don't Have Very Far To Go, which was written by Merle Haggard and Red Simpson
'Gone Crazy', which was written by Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) and Merle Haggard
'My Hands Are Tied', which was written by Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000), Merle Haggard and Kay Adams
'Go Home', which was written by Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000)
'I Made The Prison Band', which was written by Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'Branded Man/I Threw Away The Rose' (Capitol Records, 1967) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar)
James Burton, Glen Campbell, Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000), Billy Mize, Shorty Mullins, Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) and Lewis Talley (guitar)
Ralph Mooney (steel guitar)
George French and Glen D. Hardin (piano)
Leon Copeland and Jerry Ward (bass)
Eddie Burns and James Gordon (drums)
Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) (harmony vocals)

In 1994, Lorrie Morgan recorded Merle Haggard's 'I Threw Away The Rose' as 'You Threw Away The Rose'; the track was included on 'Mama's Hungry Eyes: A Tribute To Merle Haggard' (Arista Records, 1994).

On Tuesday 2 January 1968, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Sing Me Back Home' (Capitol Records, 1968), which included the following track, which was a hit on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'Sing Me Back Home' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.1 for two weeks in January/February 1968)

Merle Haggard's 'Sing Me Back Home' (Capitol Records, 1968) also included the following tracks:

'Look Over Me' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Son Of Hickory Holler's Tramp' (written by Dallas Frazier and Merle Haggard)
'Wine Take Me Away, which was written by Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000) and Merle Haggard)
'If You See My Baby' (written by Eddie Miller and Bob Morris)
'Where Does The Good Times Go', which was written by Buck Owens (Monday 12 August 1929 - Saturday 25 March 2006)
'I'll Leave The Bottle On The Bar' (written by Merle Haggard)
'My Past Is Present', which was written by Bob Wills (Monday 6 March 1905 - Tuesday 13 May 1975) and Wynn Stewart (Thursday 7 June 1934 - Wednesday 17 July 1985)
'Home Is Where A Kid Grows Up' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Mom And Dad's Waltz', which was written by Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975)
'Good Times' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Seeing Eye Dog' (written by Merle Haggard)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'Sing Me Back Home' (Capitol Records, 1968) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar)
Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001), Glen Campbell, Billy Mize and Lewis Talley (guitar)
George French (piano)
Jerry Ward (bass)
Eddie Burns (drums)
Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) (harmony vocals)

On Monday 8 April 1968, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'The Legend Of Bonnie & Clyde' (Capitol Records, 1968), which included the following track, which was a hit on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'The Legend Of Bonnie & Clyde', which was written by Merle Haggard and Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) (No.1 for two weeks in 1968)

The 'B' side of 'The Legend Of Bonnie & Clyde' was 'Today I Started Loving You Again'; although Merle Haggard's version was never released as a single, it has become a country music standard, recorded by more than one hundred different artists.

Merle Haggard's 'The Legend Of Bonnie & Clyde' (Capitol Records, 1968) also included the following tracks:

'Is This The Beginning Of The End?', which was written by Wally Lewis, Billy Mize and Wynn Stewart (Thursday 7 June 1934 - Wednesday 17 July 1985)
'Love Has A Mind Of Its Own' (written by Dallas Frazier)
'The Train Never Stops (At Our Town)' (written by Dallas Frazier)
'Fool's Castle', which was written by Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000)
'Will You Visit Me On Sundays?' (written by Dallas Frazier)
'My Ramona' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Today I Started Loving You Again', which was written by Merle Haggard and Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006)
'Money Tree' (written by Wayne Walker)
'You Still Have A Place In My Heart', which was written by Leon Payne (Friday 15 June 1917 - Thursday 11 September 1969)
'Because You Can't Be Mine' (written by Merle Haggard)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'The Legend Of Bonnie & Clyde' (Capitol Records, 1968) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar)
Glen Campbell (guitar, banjo)
Billy Mize, Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) and Lewis Talley (guitar)
Norman Hamlet (steel guitar)
George French (piano)
Jerry Ward (bass)
Eddie Burris (drums)
Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) (harmony vocals)

In 2002, 'The Legend Of Bonnie & Clyde' (Capitol Records, 1968) was re-issued by BGO Records (7 St Andrews Street, North Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 1TZ, England), along with 'Pride In What I Am' (Capitol Records, 1969).

On Thursday 3 October 1968, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Mama Tried' (Capitol Records, 1968), which included the following track, which was a hit on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'Mama Tried' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.1 for four weeks in August/September 1968)

Merle Haggard's 'Mama Tried' (Capitol Records, 1968) also included the following tracks:

'Green, Green Grass Of Home' (written by Curly Putman)
'Little Ole Wine Drinker Me' (written by Dick Jennings and Hank Mills)
'In The Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad)' (written by Dolly Parton)
'I Could Have Gone Right' (written by Mel Tillis)
'I'll Always Know' (written by Merle Haggard)
'The Sunny Side Of My Life' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Teach Me To Forget', which was written by Leon Payne (Friday 15 June 1917 - Thursday 11 September 1969)
'Folsom Prison Blues', which was written by Johnny Cash (Friday 26 February 1932 - Friday 12 September 2003)
'Run 'Em Off' (written by Tracey Lee and Oney Wheeler)
'You'll Never Love Me Now' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Too Many Bridges To Cross Over' (written by Dallas Frazier)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'Mama Tried' (Capitol Records, 1968) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar)
Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000), James Burton, Billy Mize, Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) and Lewis Talley (guitar)
Norman Hamlet (steel guitar)
George French (piano)
Jerry Ward (bass)
Eddie Burris (drums)
Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) (harmony vocals)

In 1996, 'Mama Tried' (Capitol Records, 1968) was re-issued by BGO Records (7 St Andrews Street, North Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 1TZ, England), along with 'I'm A Lonesome Fugitive' (Capitol Records, 1967).

In 2006, 'Mama Tried' (Capitol Records, 1968) was re-issued by Capitol Nashville, along with 'Pride In What I Am' (Capitol Records, 1969), with five bonus tracks and 24-bit digital remastering.


On Monday 3 February 1969, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Pride In What I Am' (Capitol Records, 1969), which included the following track, which was a hit on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'I Take A Lot Of Pride In What I Am' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.3, 1969)

Merle Haggard's 'Pride In What I Am' (Capitol Records, 1969) also included the following tracks:

'Who'll Buy The Wine' (written by Billy Mize)
'The Day The Rains Came' (written by Merle Haggard)
'It Meant Goodbye To Me (When You Said Hello To Him)', which was written by Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975) and Abe Mulkey
'I Can't Hold Myself In Line' (written by Merle Haggard)
'I'm Bringin' Home Good News' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Keep Me From Cryin' Today' (written by Merle Haggard)
'I Just Want To Look At You One More Time' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Somewhere On Skid Row' (written by Red Simpson)
'I'm Free' (written by Leon Copeland)
'California Blues (Blue Yodel No.4)', which was written by Jimmie Rodgers (8 September 1897 - Friday 26 May 1933)
'I Think We're Livin' In The Good Old Days' (written by Dean Holloway and Red Simpson)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'Pride In What I Am' (Capitol Records, 1969) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar)
James Burton (guitar)
Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) (guitar, harmonica)
Lewis Talley (guitar)
Norman Hamlet (pedal steel guitar, dobro, banjo)
George French (piano)
Bob Morris and Leon Copeland (bass)
Eddie Burris and Roy Huskey (drums)
Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) (harmony vocals)

Dean Martin (Thursday 7 June 1917 - Monday 25 December 1995) recorded Merle Haggard's 'I Take A Lot Of Pride In What I Am' and included the track on 'I Take A Lot Of Pride In What I Am' (Reprise Records, 1969); the track reached No.75 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in 1969.

In 2002, 'Pride In What I Am' (Capitol Records, 1968) was re-issued by BGO Records (7 St Andrews Street, North Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 1TZ, England), along with 'The Legend Of Bonnie & Clyde' (Capitol Records, 1969).

In 2006, 'Pride In What I Am' (Capitol Records, 1969) was re-issued by Capitol Nashville, along with 'Mama Tried' (Capitol Records, 1968), with five bonus tracks and 24-bit digital remastering.

On Thursday 1 May 1969, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Same Train, A Different Time' (Capitol Records, 1969), which featured covers of songs by legendary country music songwriter Jimmie Rodgers (8 September 1897 - Friday 26 May 1933).

THe album was originally released as a 2-LP set on Capitol Records (SWBB-223) and in 1990 became the first of Merle Haggard's Capitol Records albums to be re-released (anywhere) on CD when it was re-issued by EMI-Toshiba in Japan in its entire original repertoire.

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'Same Train, A Different Time' (Capitol Records, 1969) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar)
James Burton (acoustic & electric guitars, dobro)
Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) (guitar, harmonica)
Lewis Talley (guitar)
Norman Hamlet (steel guitar, dobro)
George French Junior (piano)
Roy 'Junior' Huskey Junior, Bob Morris and Jerry Ward (bass guitar)
Roy 'Eddie' Burris (drums)
Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) and William Robert 'Billy' Mize (background vocals)

On Tuesday 2 September 1969, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'A Portrait Of Merle Haggard' (Capitol Records, 1969), which included the following tracks, which were hits on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'Hungry Eyes' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.1 for one week in May 1969) / track featured Glen Campbell on backing vocals
'Workin' Man's Blues' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.1 for one week in August 1969)

Merle Haggard's 'A Portrait Of Merle Haggard' (Capitol Records, 1969) also included the following tracks:

'What's Wrong With Stayin' Home' (written by Bob Morris)
'Silver Wings' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Who Do I Know In Dallas', which was written by Hank Cochran (Friday 2 August 1935 - Thursday 15 July 2010) and Willie Nelson
'She Thinks I Still Care' (written by Dickey Lee and Steve Duffy)
'I Die Ten Thousand Times A Day', which was written by Leon Payne (Friday 15 June 1917 - Thursday 11 September 1969)
'Every Fool Has A Rainbow' (written by Merle Haggard)
'I Came So Close To Losing My Home', which was written by Jimmie Davis (11 September 1899 - Sunday 5 November 2000) and Ken Hunt
'Montego Bay', which was written by Hank Cochran (Friday 2 August 1935 - Thursday 15 July 2010) and Glenn Martin

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'A Portrait Of Merle Haggard' (Capitol Records, 1969) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar)
James Burton (guitar, dobro)
Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) (guitar, harmonica)
Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000) and Lewis Talley (guitar)
Norman Hamlet (pedal steel guitar, dobro)
George French and Glen D. Hardin (piano)
Bob Morris, Leon Copeland, Howard Lowe, Roy Husky and Chuck Berghofer (bass)
James Gordon and Eddie Burris (drums)
Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) (harmony vocals)

On Monday 29 December 1969, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Okie From Muskogee' (Capitol Records, 1969), which won the Academy of Country Music award for 'Album of the Year' in 1969. Merle Haggard also won 'Single of the Year' for 'Okie From Muskogee', as well as Top Male Vocalist.

Merle Haggard has stated that the title song on this album is somewhat of a satire. The album was recorded 'live' in Muskogee, Oklahoma and was originally released by Capitol Records in 1969, but was subsequently re-released in 1992, 1996, 1997, 2005 and 2006, on other record labels.

Merle Haggard's 'Okie From Muskogee' (Capitol Records, 1969) included one track which was a hit on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'Okie From Muskogee' (written by Merle Haggard and Roy Burris) (No.1 for four weeks in November/December 1969)

Merle Haggard's 'Okie From Muskogee' (Capitol Records, 1969) also included the following tracks:

Introduction By Carlton Haney
'Mama Tried' (written by Merle Haggard)
'No Hard Times', which was written by Jimmie Rodgers (8 September 1897 - Friday 26 May 1933)
'Silver Wings' (written by Merle Haggard)
Merle Receives Key To Muskogee
Merle's Introduction To Medley
'Swinging Doors (written by Merle Haggard)
'I'm A Lonesome Fugitive', which was written by Liz Anderson (Monday 13 January 1930 - Monday 31 October 2011) and Casey Anderson)
'Sing Me Back Home' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Branded Man' (written by Merle Haggard)
'In The Arms Of Love', which was written by Buck Owens (Monday 12 August 1929 - Saturday 25 March 2006) and Gene Price
'Workin' Man Blues' (written by Merle Haggard)
Merle's Introduction To 'Hobo Bill'
'Hobo Bill's Last Ride' (written by Waldo Lafayette O'Neal)
'Billy Overcame His Size' (written by Merle Haggard)
'If I Had Left It Up To You' (written by Merle Haggard)
'White Line Fever' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Blue Rock', which was written by Norman Hamlet and Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001)
Introduction To 'Okie From Muskogee'
'Okie From Muskogee' (written by Merle Haggard and Eddie Burris)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'Okie From Muskogee' (Capitol Records, 1969) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar)
Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) (lead guitar)
Norman Hamlet (pedal steel guitar, dobro)
Gene Price (bass, background vocals)
Eddie Burris (drums)
Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) (background vocals)

On Saturday 14 February 1970, Merle Haggard's 'The Fightin' Side Of Me' (Capitol Records, 1970) was recorded 'live', with his band The Strangers, at Philadelphia's Civic Centre Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The show also included Kitty Wells (Saturday 30 August 1919 - Monday 16 July 2012), Hank Snow (Saturday 9 May 1914 - Monday 20 December 1999) and Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000), although they are not included on this recording.

Merle Haggard also does a medley of convincing impersonations, including Marty Robbins (Saturday 26 September 1925 - Wednesday 8 December 1982), Hank Snow (Saturday 9 May 1914 - Monday 20 December 1999), Johnny Cash (Friday 26 February 1932 - Friday 12 September 2003) and Buck Owens (Monday 12 August 1929 - Saturday 25 March 2006).

Merle Haggard's 'The Fightin' Side Of Me' (Capitol Records, 1970) included one track which was a hit on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'Okie From Muskogee' (written by Merle haggard) (No.1 for three weeks in March/April 1970)

Merle Haggard's 'The Fightin' Side Of Me' (Capitol Records, 1970) included the following tracks:

'Introduction By Carlton Haney'
'I Take A lot Of Pride In What I Am' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Corrine, Corrina' (written by J. Williams and Bo Chatmon)
'Every Fool Has A Rainbow' (written by Merle Haggard)
'T.B. Blues', which was written by Jimmie Rodgers (8 September 1897 - Friday 26 May 1933)
'When Did Right Become Wrong', which was written by Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000)
'Philadelphia Lawyer', which was written by Woody Guthrie (Sunday 14 July 1912 - Tuesday 3 October 1967)
'Stealin' Corn', which was written by Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) and Norm Hamlet)
'Harold's Super Service' (written by B. Wayne)
'Medley of Impersonations: Devil Woman, I'm Movin' On, Folsom Prison Blues, Jackson, Orange Blossom Special and Love's Gonna Live Here'
'Today I Started Loving You Again, which was written by Merle Haggard and Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006)
'Okie From Muskogee', which was written by Merle Haggard and Roy Burris)
'The Fightin' Side Of Me' (written by Merle Haggard)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'The Fightin' Side Of Me' (Capitol Records, 1970) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar)
Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) (lead guitar)
Bobby Wayne (rhythm guitar, harmony vocals)
Norman Hamlet (pedal steel guitar, dobro)
Dennis Hromek (bass, background vocals)
Biff Adam (drums)
Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) (background vocals)
Chubby Wise (Saturday 2 October 1915 - Saturday 6 January 1996) (fiddle)

It was also in 1970 that Merle Haggard contributed the song 'Turn Me Around' to the soundtrack of 'Chisum', a 1970 Warner Bros. Technicolor Western film, which starred John Wayne (Sunday 26 May 1907 - Monday 11 June 1979).

'Chisum' was directed by Andrew V. McLaglen and was loosely based on events and characters from the Lincoln County War of 1878 in New Mexico Territory, which involved Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid, among others.

On Monday 6 April 1970, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Introducing My Friends The Strangers' (Capitol Records, 1970), which included one track which was a hit on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'Street Singer', which was written by Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) (No.9, 1970) (instrumental)

Merle Haggard's 'Introducing My Friends The Strangers' (Capitol Records, 1970) also included the following tracks:

'Stealin' Corn', which was written by Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) and Norman Hamlet (instrumental)
'Mexican Rose', which was written by Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) and Norman Hamlet (instrumental)
'Repeat Performance' (written by Bobby Wayne)
'Biff Bam Boom' (written by Biff Adam (instrumental)
'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' (Traditional) (instrumental)
'Waltzing With A Stranger' (written by Norman Hamlet) (instrumental)
'Sing Me A Happy Song' (written by Bobby Wayne and Dennis Hromek)
'Blue Rock', which was written by Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) and Norman Hamlet (instrumental)
'Workin' Man Blues' (written by Merle Haggard (instrumental)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'Introducing My Friends The Strangers' (Capitol Records, 1970) included the following:

Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) (guitar)
Norman Hamlet (steel guitar)
Bobby Wayne (rhythm guitar)
Dennis Hromek (bass)
Biff Adams (drums)
Merle Haggard and Johnny Gimble (fiddle)
Hargus 'Pig' Robbins and Earl Ball (piano)
Tommy Morgan (harmonica)
Jim Horn (sax)

On Monday 16 November 1970, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'A Tribute To The Best Damn Fiddle Player In The World (Or, My Salute To Bob Wills)' (Capitol Records, 1970), which was recorded as a tribute to Merle Haggard's childhood idol Bob Wills (Monday 6 March 1905 - Tuesday 13 May 1975).

Merle Haggard gathered up six of the remaining members of The Texas Playboys to record this tribute: Johnnie Lee Wills, Eldon Shamblin, Tiny Moore, Joe Holley, Johnny Gimble, and Alex Brashear. Merle's band The Strangers were also present during the recording.

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'A Tribute To The Best Damn Fiddle Player In The World (Or, My Salute To Bob Wills)' (Capitol Records, 1970) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar, fiddle)
Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001), Bobby Wayne and Eldon Shamblin (guitar)
Dennis Hromek (bass)
Tiny Moore (fiddle, mandolin)
Norman Hamlet (steel guitar, dobro)
Johnnie Lee Wills (banjo)
George French (piano)
Alex Brashear (trumpet)
Biff Adam (drums)
Joe Holley and Johnny Gimble (fiddle)

On Thursday 22 April 1971, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Hag' (Capitol Records, 1971); it was Merle's first album, in two years, with a majority of original songs.

Merle Haggard's 'Hag' (Capitol Records, 1971) included three tracks which were hit singles on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'Jesus, Take A Hold' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.3, 1970)
'I Can't Be Myself' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.3, 1970)
'Soldiers Last Letter' (No.3, 1971)

Merle Haggard's 'Hag' (Capitol Records, 1971) included the following tracks:

'Soldier's Last Letter', which was written by Redd Stewart (Sunday 27 May 1923 - Saturday 2 August 2003) and Ernest Tubb (Monday 9 February 1914 - Thursday 6 September 1984)
'Shelly's Winter Love' (written by Merle Haggard)
'I'm A Good Loser' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Sidewalks Of Chicago', which was written by Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 - Saturday 17 April 2004)
'No Reason To Quit' (written by Dean Holloway)
'If You've Got Time (To Say Goodbye)' (written by Merle Haggard)
'The Farmer's Daughter' (written by Merle Haggard)
'I've Done It All' (written by Merle Haggard)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'Hag' (Capitol Records, 1971) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar)
Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001), Red Lane and Bobby Wayne (guitar)
Norman Hamlet (pedal steel guitar, dobro)
Dennis Hromek (bass)
Biff Adam (drums)
Johnny Gimble (fiddle)
Earl Ball, George French and Glen D. Hardin (piano)

In 2002, 'Hag' (Capitol Records, 1971) was re-issued by BGO Records (7 St Andrews Street, North Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 1TZ, England), along with 'Let Me Tell You About A Song' (Capitol Records, 1972).

On Monday 9 August 1971, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Someday We'll Look Back' (Capitol Records, 1971), which included two tracks which were hit singles on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'Someday We'll Look Back' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.2, 1971)
'Carolyn', which was written by Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000) (No.1 for three weeks in January/February 1972)

Merle Haggard's 'Someday We'll Look Back' (Capitol Records, 1971) also included the following tracks:

'Train Of Life', which was written by Roger Miller (Thursday 2 January 1936 - Sunday 25 October 1992)
'One Sweet Hello' (written by Merle Haggard)
'One Row At A Time', which was written by Red Lane and Dottie West (Tuesday 11 October 1932 - Wednesday 4 September 1991)
'Big Time Annie's Square' (written by Merle Haggard)
'I'd Rather Be Gone' (written by Merle Haggard)
'California Cottonfield' (written by Dallas Frazier and Earl Montgomery)
'Tulare Dust' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Huntsville' ((written by Merle Haggard and Red Simpson)
'The Only Trouble With Me' (written by Merle Haggard)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'Someday We'll Look Back' (Capitol Records, 1971) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar)
Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) (guitar, harmonica)
James Burton (guitar, dobro)
Red Lane, Bobby Wayne, Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000), Glen Campbell and Lewis Talley (guitar)
Norman Hamlet (pedal steel guitar, dobro)
Dennis Hromek, Willard Price, Leon Copeland, Chuck Berghofer and Jerry Ward (bass)
Biff Adam, Eddie Burns and Tommy Ash (drums)
Johnny Gimble (fiddle)
George French, Glen D. Hardin and Hargus 'Pig' Robbins (piano)

On Monday 27 September 1971, following the success of his 'A Tribute To The Best Damn Fiddle Player In The World (Or, My Salute To Bob Wills)' (Capitol Records, 1970), which was released on Monday 16 November 1970, Merle Haggard invited Bob Wills (Monday 6 March 1905 - Tuesday 13 May 1975), who was then wheelchair-bound, along his his wife Betty, to his Bakersfield, California home where members of The Texas Playboys had gathered for an informal jam session.

The occasion was recorded by Capitol Records producer Ken Nelson on a mobile recording unit, but the recordings did not see the commercial light of day until 2006, when Bear Family Records released Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys 'Faded Love: 1947 - 1973', a box set comprising of thirteen CDs, one DVD and one hardcover book.

On Monday 8 November 1971, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'The Land Of Many Churches' (Capitol Records, 1971), a gospel album which featured special guests, including Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) and The Carter Family.

Merle Haggard's 'The Land Of Many Churches' (Capitol Records, 1971) was re-issued, on CD, by Razor & Tie in 1997.

In March 1972, Merle Haggard received a letter (dated Tuesday 14 March 1972) from California governor Ronald Reagan (Monday 6 February 1911 - Saturday 5 June 2004). Following eight months of consideration, Reagan cited Merle Haggard as a 'fully rehabilitated member of society' and granted a full pardon for his criminal offenses.

In June 1972, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Let Me Tell You About A Song' (Capitol Records, 1972), which included two tracks which were hit singles on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'Daddy Frank (Guitar Man)' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.1 for two weeks in November/December 1971)
'Grandma Harp'/'Turnin' Off A Memory' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.1 for two weeks in May 1972)

Merle Haggard's 'Let Me Tell You About A Song' (Capitol Records, 1972) also included the following tracks:

'They're Tearin' The Labor Camps Down' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Man Who Picked The Wildwood Flower', which was written by Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000)
'Recitation: The Proudest Fiddle In The World (A Maiden's Prayer)', which was written by Bob Wills (Monday 6 March 1905 - Tuesday 13 May 1975)
'Bill Woods From Bakersfield' (written by Red Simpson)
'Old Doc Brown', which was written by Red Foley (Friday 17 June 1910 - Thursday 19 September 1968)
'Irma Jackson' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Funeral', which was written by Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000)
'Bring It On Down To My House, Honey', which was written by Bob Wills (Monday 6 March 1905 - Tuesday 13 May 1975)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'Let Me Tell You About A Song' (Capitol Records, 1972) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar)
Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) (guitar, harmonica)
Bobby Wayne and Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000) (guitar)
Norman Hamlet (pedal steel guitar, dobro)
Dennis Hromek (bass)
Biff Adam (drums)
Johnny Gimble (fiddle)
Billy Liebert and Glen D. Hardin (piano)

In 2002, 'Let Me Tell You About A Song' (Capitol Records, 1972) was re-issued by BGO Records (7 St Andrews Street, North Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 1TZ, England), along with 'Hag' (Capitol Records, 1971).

In December 1972, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'It's Not Love (But It's Not Bad)' (Capitol Records, 1972), which included one track which was a hit single on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'It's Not Love (But It's Not Bad)', which was written by Hank Cochran (Friday 2 August 1935 - Thursday 15 July 2010) and Glenn Martin (No.1 for one week in November 1972)

Merle Haggard's 'It's Not Love (But It's Not Bad)' (Capitol Records, 1972) also included the following tracks:

'Goodbye Comes Hard For Me', which was written by Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000)
'My Woman Keeps Lovin' Her Man' (written by Merle Haggard)
'New York City Blues' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Conversion Of Ronnie Jones', which was written by Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000)
'I Wonder What She'll Think About Me Leaving' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Shoulder To Cry On' (written by Merle Haggard)
'I'd Never Told On You', which was written by Hank Cochran (Friday 2 August 1935 - Thursday 15 July 2010)
'Dad's Old Fiddle' (written by Glenn Martin)
'Somewhere To Come When It Rains' (written by Red Lane)
'I Wonder Where I'll Find You At Tonight' (written by Merle Haggard)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'It's Not Love (But It's Not Bad)' (Capitol Records, 1972) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar)
Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) (guitar, harmonica)
Bobby Wayne, Red Lane and Ray Edenton (guitar)
Norman Hamlet (pedal steel guitar, dobro)
Dennis Hromek (bass)
Biff Adam (drums)
Johnny Gimble and Bill Woods (fiddle)
Billy Liebert, Glen D. Hardin and Hargus 'Pig' Robbins (piano)

In March 1973, Merle Haggard & The Strangers played The White House for First Lady Patricia Nixon's sixty-first birthday; it was quite an initiation for piano player Mark Yeary, who made his first appearance as a member of The Strangers on that particular show.


In July 1973, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'I Love Dixie Blues' (Capitol Records, 1973), a 'live' album, which was subtitled 'So I Recorded Live In New Orleans'.

Merle Haggard's 'I Love Dixie Blues' (Capitol Records, 1973) included three tracks, which were hits on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'I Wonder If They Ever Think Of Me' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.1 for one week in February 1973)
'The Emptiest Arms In The World' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.3, May 1973)
'Everybody's Had The Blues' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.1 for two weeks in August/September 1973)

Merle Haggard's 'I Love Dixie Blues' (Capitol Records, 1973) also included the following tracks:

'Hammin' It Up' (written by Norman Hamlet)
'Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now)' (written by Jack Yellen and Milton Ager)
'I Forget You Every Day' (written by Merle Haggard)
'I Ain't Got Nobody' (written by Spencer Williams, Roger Graham and Dave Taylor)
'Carolyn', which was written by Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000)
'Champagne', which was written by Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001), Norman Hamlet and Biff Adams
'Lovesick Blues' (written by Irving Mills and Cliff Friend)
'Nobody Knows I'm Hurting' (written by Merle Haggard)
Intro to 'Way Down Yonder In New Orleans'
'Way Down Yonder In New Orleans' (written by Henry Creamer and J. Turner Layton)
'Okie From Muskogee' (written by Merle Haggard and Eddie Burris)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'I Love Dixie Blues' (Capitol Records, 1973) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar)
Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) (guitar, harmonica)
Norman Hamlet (pedal steel guitar, dobro)
Dennis Hromek (bass)
Biff Adam (drums)
Johnny Gimble (fiddle)
Mark Yeary (piano)
Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) (vocals)
The Dixie Land Express (horns)

In November 1973, Merle Haggard saw the release of his first Christmas album, 'Merle Haggard's Christmas Present' (Capitol Records, 1973), which included one track which was a hit on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'If We Make It Through December' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.1 for four weeks in December 1973/January 1974) / the track also reached the Top 30 of the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart

The original LP release of 'Merle Haggard's Christmas Present' (Capitol Records, 1973) carried the subtitle 'Something Old, Something New'.

'Merle Haggard's Christmas Present' (Capitol Records, 1973) also included the following tracks:

'Santa Claus And Popcorn' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Bobby Wants A Puppy Dog For Christmas' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Daddy Won't Be Home Again For Christmas' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Grandma's Homemade Christmas Card' (written by Merle Haggard)
'White Christmas' (written by Irving Berlin)
'Silver Bells' (written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans)
'Winter Wonderland' (written by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith)
'Silent Night' (written by Josef Mohr and Franz Xaver Gruber)
'Jingle Bells' (written by James Lord Pierpont)

Personnel involved in the recording of 'Merle Haggard's Christmas Present' (Capitol Records, 1973) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar)
Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) (guitar, harmonica)
Red Lane, Bobby Wayne, Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 - Saturday 17 April 2004), Marcy Nichols, Ray Edenton, Jerry Shooks and Jimmy Capps (guitar)
Norman Hamlet (pedal steel guitar, dobro)
Dennis Hromek, Joe Zinkan, Ronnie Reno and Henry Strzelecki (bass)
Biff Adam and William Harris (drums)
Johnny Gimble (fiddle)
Hargus 'Pig' Robbins (piano, organ)
Jerry Whitehurst and Mark Yeary (piano)
Farrell Morris (percussion)
Bill Puett (horns)

The recording sessions for Merle Haggard's first Christmas album, 'Merle Haggard's Christmas Present' (Capitol Records, 1973), which took place in July 1973 at Buck Owens' studio in Bakersfield, California were the first sessions that Ronnie Reno worked on with Merle Haggard.

On Monday 3 December 1973, Merle Haggard and Texas Playboys musicians, along with producer Tommy Allsup, gathered together on what would be Bob Wills' final visit to a recording studio.

This momentous occasion took place at Dallas' Sunset Studios, with the results released on a twenty-four track double album, 'For The Last Time' (United Artists Records, 1973). Bob Wills then returned home where he lapsed into a coma, from which he did not recover. Bob Wills passed away on Tuesday 13 May 1975.

The recording sessions also took place on Tuesday 4 December 1973; the twenty-four track double album, 'For The Last Time' (United Artists Records, 1973), was subsequently released, on CD, by Capitol Records in 1994.

In February 1974, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'If We Make It Through December' (Capitol Records, 1974), the title track of which was previously included on Merle Haggard's 1973 Christmas album, 'Merle Haggard's Christmas Present' (Capitol Records, 1973).

'If We Make It Through December' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.1 for four weeks in December 1973/January 1974)

Merle Haggard's 'If We Make It Through December' (Capitol Records, 1974) also included the following tracks:

'Love And Honor' (written by Merle Haggard)
'To Each His Own' (written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans)
'You're The Only Girl In The Game', which was written by Hank Cochran (Friday 2 August 1935 - Thursday 15 July 2010) and Glenn Martin
'I'm An Old Old Man Tryin' To Live While I Can', which was written by Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975)
'Come On Into My Arms' (written by Marcia Nichols)
'Better Off When I Was Hungry', which was written by Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 - Saturday 17 April 2004)
'I'll Break Out Again Tonight' (written by Arthur Leo 'Doodle' Owens and Sanger D. Shafer)
'This Cold War With You', which was written by Floyd Tillman (Tuesday 8 December 1914 - Friday 22 August 2003)
'Uncle Lem' (written by Glenn Martin)
'There's Just One Way' (written by Merle Haggard and Kenny Seratt)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'If We Make It Through December' (Capitol Records, 1974) incuded the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar)
Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) (guitar, harmonica)
Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000), Bobby Wayne, Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 - Saturday 17 April 2004), Marcy Nichols and Ronnie Reno (guitar)
Norman Hamlet (pedal steel guitar, dobro)
Dennis Hromek, Joe Zinkan and Johnny Meeks (bass)
Biff Adam (drums)
Johnny Gimble and Bill Woods (fiddle)
Hargus 'Pig' Robbins (piano, organ)
Billy Liebert and Mark Yeary (piano)
Bill Puett (horns)

In August 1974, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Merle Haggard Presents His 30th Album' (Capitol Records, 1974), which included two tracks which were hits on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'Things Aren't Funny Anymore' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.1 for one week in May 1974)
'Old Man From The Mountain' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.1 for one week in August 1974)

Merle Haggard's 'Merle Haggard Presents His 30th Album' (Capitol Records, 1974) also included the following tracks:

'White Man Singin' the Blues' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Traveling' (written by Ronnie Reno and Tiny Moore)
'Girl Who Made Me Laugh', which was (written by Merle Haggard and Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001)
'Honky Tonk Night Time Man' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Holding Things Together' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Seashores Of Old Mexico' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Don't Give Up On Me' (written by Merle Haggard)
'King Without A Queen', which was written by Bob Wills (Monday 6 March 1905 - Tuesday 13 May 1975), John Wills and Martha Dean Moore
'It Don't Bother Me' (written by Mark Yeary)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'Merle Haggard Presents His 30th Album' (Capitol Records, 1974) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar)
Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) (guitar, harmonica)
James Burton, Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 - Saturday 17 April 2004) and Ronnie Reno (guitar)
Norman Hamlet (pedal steel guitar, dobro)
Chuck Berghofer and Johnny Meeks (bass)
Biff Adam (drums)
Johnny Gimble (fiddle)
Tiny Moore (mandolin)
Hargus 'Pig' Robbins (piano, organ)
Glen D. Hardin and Mark Yeary (piano)
Bill Puett (horns)

The 'B' side of 'Old Man From The Mountain' (written by Merle Haggard) was 'Holding Things Together' (written by Merle Haggard), and gained a substantial amount of airplay; the track featured Ronnie Reno and Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) as supporting vocalists.

1974 proved to be a pivotal year for Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006); she gave up touring with Merle Haggard in order to concentrate on family life.

In April 1975, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Keep Movin' On' (Capitol Records, 1975), which included three tracks which were hits on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'Kentucky Gambler' (written by Dolly Parton) (No.1 for one week in January 1975)
'Always Wanting You' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.1 for two weeks in April 1975) / track written by Merle Haggard, expressing his feelings for Dolly Parton, which was the first and only Billboard No.1 country music hit single to feature Louise Mandrell as a supporting vocalist
'Movin' On' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.1 for one week in July 1975)

Merle Haggard's 'Keep Movin' On' (Capitol Records, 1975) also included the following tracks:

'Life's Like Poetry' (written by Merle Haggard)
'I've Got A Darlin' (For A Wife)' (written by Merle Haggard and Ronnie Reno)
'These Mem'ries We're Making Tonight' (written by Merle Haggard)
'You'll Always Be Special To Me' (written by Merle Haggard)
'September In Miami' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Here In Frisco' (written by Merle Haggard)
'I've Got A Yearning' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Man's Gotta Give Up A Lot' (written by Merle Haggard)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'Keep Movin' On' (Capitol Records, 1975) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar)
Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) (guitar, harmonica)
Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 - Saturday 17 April 2004) (guitar)
Ronnie Reno (guitar)
Norman Hamlet (pedal steel guitar, dobro)
Chuck Berghofer, Johnny Meeks, Bob Moore and James Tittle (bass)
Biff Adam (drums)
Johnny Gimble (fiddle)
Tiny Moore (mandolin)
Hargus 'Pig' Robbins (piano, organ)
Mark Yeary (piano)
Don Merkham (saxophone)

The title track, 'Movin' On', was a full-length version of a song which Merle Haggard recorded as the theme song to the television series 'Movin' On'.

'Kentucky Gambler' was originally recorded by Dolly Parton, who included the track on 'The Bargain Store' (RCA Records, 1975), an album which also included a cover of Merle Haggard's 'You'll Always Be Special To Me'.

Dolly Parton recorded Merle Haggard's 'Life's Like Poetry' and included the track on 'All I Can Do' (RCA Records, 1976).

In February 1976, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'It's All In The Movies' (Capitol Records, 1976), which included one track which was a hit on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'It's All In The Movies' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.1 for one week in November/December 1975)

Merle Haggard's 'It's All In The Movies' (Capitol Records, 1976) also included the following tracks:

'Nothing's Worse Than Losing' (written by Merle Haggard)
'After Loving You' (written by Merle Haggard, Ronnie Reno and Leona Williams)
'Stingeree' (written by Charles Singleton and Larry Coleman)
'I Know An Ending When It Comes', which was written by Hank Cochran (Friday 2 August 1935 - Thursday 15 July 2010)
'This Is The Song We Sing' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Living With The Shades Pulled Down' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Hag's Dixie Blues, No.2' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Let's Stop Pretending' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Cotton Patch Blues', which was written by Bob Wills (Monday 6 March 1905 - Tuesday 13 May 1975) and Billy Joe Moore
'The Seeker' (written by Dolly Parton)

It was during 1975 that Merle Haggard hosted the American television series 'Death Valley Days' and also made brief appearances in 'Doc Elliot' and 'The Waltons'.

In July 1976, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'My Love Affair With Trains' (Capitol Records, 1976), which included one track which was a hit on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'Here Comes The Freedom Train' (written by Stephen H. Lemberg) (No.10, early July 1976)

Merle Haggard's 'My Love Affair With Trains' (Capitol Records, 1976) also included the following tracks:

'My Love Affair With Trains' (written by Dolly Parton)
'Union Station' (written by Ronnie Reno)
'So Long Train Whistle', which was written by Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 - Saturday 17 April 2004) and Lew Quadling
'Silver Ghost' (written by Sterling Whipple)
'No More Trains To Ride' (written by Merle Haggard)
Coming And The Going Of The Trains' (written by Red Lane)
'I Won't Give Up My Train' (written by Mark Yeary)
'Where Have All the Hobos Gone', which was written by Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 - Saturday 17 April 2004) and Danny Morrison)
'Railroad Lady' (written by Jimmy Buffett and Jerry Jeff Walker)
'Hobo', which was written by Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 - Saturday 17 April 2004) and Glenn Martin

In November 1976, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'The Roots Of My Raising' (Capitol Records, 1976), which included two tracks which were hits on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'The Roots Of My Raising', which was written by Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000) (No.1 for one week in March 1976)
'Cherokee Maiden', which was written by Cindy Walker (Saturday 20 July 1918 - Thursday 23 March 2006) (No.1 for one week in November 1976)

'Cherokee Maiden' was actually a two-sided hit; the 'B' side, 'What Have You Got Planned Tonight, Diana', was written by Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 - Saturday 17 April 2004), who, at the time, was a member of Merle Haggard's band, The Strangers.

On Wednesday 10 November 1976, some four days after 'Cherokee Maiden' became No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart, Merle Haggard's second wife, Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006), filed for divorce.

Merle Haggard's 'The Roots Of My Raising' (Capitol Records, 1976) also included the following tracks:

'Waltz You Saved For Me' (written by Gus Kahn, Wayne King and Emil Flindt)
'Walk On The Outside', which was written by Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 - Saturday 17 April 2004) and Chuck Howard
'Gambling Polka Dot Blues', which was written by Jimmie Rodgers (8 September 1897 - Friday 26 May 1933) and Roy E. Hall
'Am I Standing In Your Way' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Colorado', which was written by Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 - Saturday 17 April 2004)
'I Never Go Around Mirrors', which was written by Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975) and Sanger D. Shafer
'Mississippi Delta Blues', which was written by Jimmie Rodgers (8 September 1897 - Friday 26 May 1933) and Jack Neville

In 2002, 'My Love Affair With Trains' (Capitol Records, 1976) was re-issued by BGO Records (7 St Andrews Street, North Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 1TZ, England), along with 'The Roots Of My Raising' (Capitol Records, 1976).

It was also in 1976 when Merle Haggard made a special guest appearance, as the character Red Turner, in episode 5 of season 5 of 'The Waltons'; the episode was called 'The Comeback' and featured Merle Haggard performing, as Red Turner, 'Nobody's Darling But Mine'.

In May 1977, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Ramblin' Fever' (MCA Records, 1977), which his first album release on MCA Records, following a successful twelve years (1965 - 1977) of recording for Capitol Records. The album, which reached No.5 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart in 1977, was re-issued on CD in 2002.

Merle Haggard's 'Ramblin' Fever' (MCA Records, 1977) included two tracks which were hits on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'If We're Not Back In Love By Monday' (written by Glenn Martin and Sonny Throckmorton) (No.2, 1977)
'Ramblin' Fever' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.2, 1977)

Merle Haggard's 'Ramblin' Fever' (MCA Records, 1977) also included the following tracks:

'When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again' (written by Wiley Walker and Gene Sullivan)
'Ghost Story' (written by Joe Allen)
'Set Me Free' (written by Curly Putman)
'Love Somebody To Death' (written by Red Lane and Glenn Martin)
'I Think It's Gone Forever' (written by Merle Haggard and Leona Williams)
'Ain't Your Memory Got No Pride At All' (written by Red Lane, Boyce Porter and Bucky Jones)
'My Love For You' (written by Jeannie Seely)
'Last Letter' (written by Rex Griffin)


In September 1977, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'A Working Man Can't Get Nowhere Today' (Capitol Records, 1977). Although Merle Haggard had moved to MCA Records, Capitol Records created this release from tracks previously recorded in 1975 and 1976.

Merle Haggard's 'A Working Man Can't Get Nowhere Today' (Capitol Records, 1977) included the following tracks:

'A Working Man Can't Get Nowhere Today' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Making Believe' (written by Jimmy Work)
'Blues Stay Away From Me' (written by Alton Delmore, Rabon Delmore, Henry Glover and Wayne Raney)
'Got A Letter From My Kid' (written by Alex Kramer, Joan Whitney and Hy Zaret)
'When My Last Song Is Sung' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Moanin' The Blues', which was written by by Hank Williams (Monday 17 September 1923 - Thursday 1 January 1953)
'Goodbye Lefty' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Blues For Dixie' (written by O. W. Mayo)
'Running Kind' (written by Merle Haggard)
'I'm A White Boy' (written by Merle Haggard)


In October 1977, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'My Farewell To Elvis' (MCA Records, 1977), which included one track which was a hit on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'From Graceland To The Promised Land' (No.4, 1977)

Merle Haggard's 'My Farewell To Elvis' (MCA Records, 1977) also included the following tracks:

'In The Ghetto' (written by Mac Davis)
'Don't Be Cruel'', which was written by Otis Blackwell (Monday 16 February 1931 - Monday 6 May 2002) and Elvis Presley (Tuesday 8 January 1935 - Tuesday 16 August 1977)
'Jailhouse Rock' (written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller)
'Love Me Tender', which was written by Vera Matson and Elvis Presley (Tuesday 8 January 1935 - Tuesday 16 August 1977)
'That's All Right' (written by Arthur Crudup)
'Heartbreak Hotel'', which was written by Mae Boren Axton (Monday 14 September 1914 - Wednesday 9 April 1997), Tommy Durden (Monday 15 December 1919 - Sunday 17 October 1999) and Elvis Presley (Tuesday 8 January 1935 - Tuesday 16 August 1977)
'Blue Christmas' (written by Billy Hayes and Jay Johnson)
'Blue Suede Shoes', which was written by Carl Perkins (Saturday 9 April 1932 - Monday 19 January 1998)
'Are You Lonesome Tonight?' (written by Roy Turk and Lou Handman)
'Merle's Farewell To Elvis' (written by Merle Haggard)

Merle Haggard's 'My Farewell To Elvis' (MCA Records, 1977), which reached No.6 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart in 1977, was a tribute to the music of Elvis Presley (Tuesday 8 January 1935 - Tuesday 16 August 1977).

In 2008, HumpHead Country released Merle Haggard's 'From The King to The Barrooms' (HumpHead Country, 2008), as HUMP017; the collection brought together some of Merle Haggard's best loved songs, together with a selection of his Elvis Presley covers.

Merle Haggard's 'From The King to The Barrooms' (HumpHead Country, 2008) included recordings which Merle made for MCA Records between 1977 and 1981 when he chalked up no less than eleven Billboard country music top ten singles for MCA; the collection also included tracks from Merle Haggard's Elvis tribute album, which was released just a few weeks after the King had passed away, on Tuesday 16 August 1977.

In June 1978, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'I'm Always On A Mountain When I Fall' (MCA Records, 1978), which included two tracks which were hits on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'I'm Always On A Mountain When I Fall' (written by Chuck Howard) (No.2, 1978)
'It's Been A Great Afternoon' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.2, 1978)

Merle Haggard's 'I'm Always On A Mountain When I Fall' (MCA Records, 1978) also included the following tracks:

'Love Me When You Can' (written by Merle Haggard)
'There Won't Be Another Now' (written by Red Lane)
'Don't You Ever Get Tired (Of Hurtin' Me)', which was written by Hank Cochran (Friday 2 August 1935 - Thursday 15 July 2010)
'Life Of A Rodeo Cowboy', which was written by Hank Cochran (Friday 2 August 1935 - Thursday 15 July 2010) and Jeannie Seely
'There Ain't No Good Chain Gang', which was written by Hal Bynum and Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 - Saturday 17 April 2004)
'Dream' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Immigrant', which was written by Merle Haggard and Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 - Saturday 17 April 2004)
'Mama I've Got To Go To Memphis' (written by Leona Williams)

In September 1978, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'The Way It Was In '51' (Capitol Records, 1978), which included one track which was a hit on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'The Way It Was In '51' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.82, 1978) (recorded in August 1975 at Capitol Recording Studio in Hollywood, California)

Merle Haggard's 'The Way It Was In '51' (Capitol Records, 1978) also included the following tracks:

'Moanin' The Blues', which was written by Hank Williams (Monday 17 September 1923 - Thursday 1 January 1953) / recorded in March 1972 at Buck Owens Studios in Bakersfield, California)
'My Heart Would Know', which was written by Hank Williams (Monday 17 September 1923 - Thursday 1 January 1953) / recorded in August 1971 at Jack Clement Recording Studio in Nashville)
'Lovesick Blues' (written by Irving Mills and Cliff Friend) / recorded in March 1972 at Buck Owens Studios in Bakersfield, California)
'I Saw The Light', which was written by Hank Williams (Monday 17 September 1923 - Thursday 1 January 1953) / recorded in July 1971 at Union Rescue Mission in Nashville)
'Mom And Dad's Waltz', which was written by Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975) / recorded in November 1967 at Capitol Recording Studio in Hollywood, California)
'It Meant Goodbye To Me (When She Said Hello To Him)', which was written by Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975) and Abe Mulkey / recorded in August 1968 at Capitol Recording Studio in Hollywood, California)
'I'm An Old Old Man (Tryin' To Live While I Can)', which was written by Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975)
'I Never Go Around Mirrors', which was written by Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975) and Sanger D. Shafer / recorded in August 1975 at Capitol Recording Studio in Hollywood, California)
'Goodbye Lefty' (written by Merle Haggard) / recorded in August 1975 at Capitol Recording Studio in Hollywood, California)

Personnel who were involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'The Way It Was In '51' (Capitol Records, 1978) included the following:

Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001), Chip Young, Bobby Thompson (Monday 5 July 1937 - Wednesday 18 May 2005), Bobby Wayne, Jody Payne and Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000) (guitar)
Norman Hamlet (steel guitar)
Dennis Hromek, Howard Lowe, Leon Copeland and Roy Huskey Junior (Monday 17 December 1956 - Saturday 6 September 1997) (bass)
Biff Adam and Eddie Burris (drums)
Johnny Gimble (fiddle)
Glenn D. Hardin, Hargus Pig Robbins, Jerry Smith and George French (piano)
Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) (vocals)

Merle Haggard played the part of Cisco Calendar in 'Centennial', a twelve-episode American television mini-series, which was aired on NBC between Monday 2 October 1978 and Sunday 4 February 1979; the series was based on the novel of the same name by James A. Michener (Sunday 3 February 1907 - Thursday 16 October 1997).

On Saturday 7 October 1978, Merle Haggard married Leona Belle Williams, his third wife; Merle's second wife, Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) served as a bridesmaid at the ceremony.

In late October 1978, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'The Bull And The Beaver', a non-album track, which reached No.10 on the Billboard country music singles chart; the track was a duet with Leona Williams.

On Friday 18 May 1979, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Serving 190 Proof' (MCA Records, 1979), which included four tracks which were hits on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'Red Bandana' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.4, 1979) ('B' side was 'I Must Have Done Something Bad')
'My Own Kind Of Hat' (written by Merle Haggard and Red Lane) (No.4, 1979) ('B' side was 'Heaven Was A Drink Of Wine')

Merle Haggard's 'Serving 190 Proof' (MCA Records, 1979) also included the following tracks:

'Footlights' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Got Lonely Too Early (This Morning)' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Heaven Was A Drink Of Wine' (written by Sanger D. Schafer)
'Driftwood' (written by Merle Haggard)
'I Can't Get Away' (written by Merle Haggard)
'I Must Have Done Something Bad' (written by Red Lane)
'I Didn't Mean To Love You' (written by Merle Haggard and Red Lane)
'Sing A Family Song' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Roses In The Winter' (written by Merle Haggard)


In April 1980, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'The Way I Am' (MCA Records, 1980), which included one track which was a hit on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'The Way I Am' (written by Sonny Throckmorton) (No.2, 1980)

Merle Haggard's 'The Way I Am' (MCA Records, 1980) also included the following tracks:

'Sky-Bo' (written by Merle Haggard)
'No One To Sing For (But The Band)' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Remember Me (I'm The One Who Loves You)', which was written by Stuart Hamblen (Tuesday 20 October 1908 - Wednesday 8 March 1989)
'Life's Just Not The Way It Used To Be' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Wake Up' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Where Have You Been' (written by Leona Williams)
'Take Me Back And Try Me One More Time', which was written by Ernest Tubb (Monday 9 February 1914 - Thursday 6 September 1984)
'I'll Always Be Glad To Take You Back', which was written by Ernest Tubb (Monday 9 February 1914 - Thursday 6 September 1984)
'It Makes No Difference Now', which was written by Jimmie Davis (11 September 1899 - Sunday 5 November 2000) and Floyd Tillman (Tuesday 8 December 1914 - Friday 22 August 2003)
'It's Been So Long, Darling' , which was written by Ernest Tubb (Monday 9 February 1914 - Thursday 6 September 1984)

Merle Haggard's 'The Way I Am' (MCA Records, 1980) was produced by Porter Wagoner (Friday 12 August 1927 - Sunday 28 October 2007), Don Gant and Fuzzy Owen.

On Monday 21 April 1980, Merle Haggard saw the release, on Elektra Records, of 'Bar Room Buddies' (written by Milton Brown, Cliff Crofford, Steve Dorff and Snuff Garrett; the track was a duet with actor Clint Eastwood (No.1 for one week in July/August 1980).

'Bar Room Buddies' (written by Milton Brown, Cliff Crofford, Steve Dorff and Snuff Garrett) was featured on the soundtrack of the film 'Bronco Billy', which starred, and was directed by, Clint Eastwood.

On Friday 10 October 1980, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Back To The Barrooms' (MCA Records, 1980), which included three tracks which were hits on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'Misery And Gin' (written by John Durrill and Snuff Garrett) (No.3, 1980)
This track also appeared on the soundtrack of the film 'Bronco Billy', in which Merle Haggard had a cameo role, appearing as himself

'I Think I'll Just Stay Here And Drink' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.1 for one week in January 1981)
'Leonard' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.9, 1981)

Merle Haggard's 'Back To The Barrooms' (MCA Records, 1980) also included the following tracks:

'Back To The Barrooms Again', which was written by Merle Haggard and Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 - Saturday 17 April 2004)
'Make-Up And Faded Blue Jeans' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Ever-Changing Woman', which was written by Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 - Saturday 17 April 2004) and Curly Putman
'Easy Come, Easy Go' (written by Ian Sutherland)
'I Don't Want To Sober Up Tonight' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Can't Break The Habit' (written by Merle Haggard and Leona Williams)
'Our Paths May Never Cross' (written by Merle Haggard)
'I Don't Have Any More Love Songs' (written by Hank Williams Junior)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'Back To The Barrooms' (MCA Records, 1980) included the following:

Merle Haggard (lead guitar, vocals)
Billy Joe Walker Junior (guitar)
Johnny Gimble (fiddle, mandolin)
Norman Hamlet (pedal steel guitar)
Jerry Kroon, Bob Gallardo and Larrie Londin (Friday October 1943 - Monday 24 August 1992) (drums)
Don Markham (trumpet, saxophone)
Larry Muhoberac (keyboards)
Joe Osborn (bass)

In July 1981, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Rainbow Stew Live At Anaheim Stadium' (MCA Records, 1981), which boasted of an augmented Strangers, with former Texas Playboys Eldon Shamblin, Tiny Moore and Gordon Terry and a horn section filling out the band's sound, the result of which was a wonderful, swing album.

Merle Haggard's 'Rainbow Stew Live At Anaheim Stadium' (MCA Records, 1981) included the following tracks:

'Misery And Gin' (written by Johnny Durrill and Snuff Garrett)
'I Think I'll Just Stay Here And Drink' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Back To The Barrooms Again', which was written by Merle Haggard and Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 - Saturday 17 April 2004)
'Our Paths May Never Cross' (written by Merle Haggard)
Medley: 'The Running Kind', which was written by Casey Anderson and Liz Anderson (Monday 13 January 1930 - Monday 31 October 2011), and 'I'm A Lonesome Fugitive' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Rainbow Stew' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Blue Yodel No. 9 (Standin' On The Corner)', which was written by Jimmie Rodgers (8 September 1897 - Friday 26 May 1933)
'Dealing With The Devil' (written by Eddy Raven and Sanger D. Shafer)
'Fiddle Breakdown'
'Sing Me Back Home' (written by Merle Haggard)

In the Autumn/Fall of 1981, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Sing Me Back Home', a frank autobiography, which was written with Peggy Russell.

In September 1981, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Songs For The Mama That Tried' (MCA Records, 1981), which was is a Gospel album and reached No.46 on the Billboard Top Country Album Chart in 1981. This album was Merle Haggard's last principal release on MCA Records having signed with Epic Records. The title of the album alludes to Merle Haggard's 1968 song 'Mama Tried' (No.1 for four weeks in August / September 1968), a song which became a cornerstone of his career.

It was also in 1981 that Merle Haggard signed a new, lucrative recording contract with Epic Records and, in October of that year, he saw the release of 'Big City' (Epic Records, 1981), which was his debut album for Epic Records after ending his association with MCA Records. The album reached No.3 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart.

Merle Haggard's 'Big City' (Epic Records, 1981) was recorded in a two-day marathon recording session which produced enough songs for this album, plus Merle Haggard’s 'Going Where The Lonely Go' (Epic Records, 1982).

Merle Haggard's 'Big City' (Epic Records, 1981) included three tracks which were hits on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'My Favorite Memory' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.1 for one week in November / December 1981)
'Big City' (written by Merle Haggard and Dean Holloway) (No.1 for one week in April 1982)
'Are The Good Times Really Over (I Wish A Buck Was Still Silver)' (No.2, 1982) / this track won the Academy of Country Music (ACM) 'Song of the Year' in 1982

In 2011, 'Big City' (Epic Records, 1981) was re-issued by BGO Records (7 St Andrews Street, North Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 1TZ, England), along with 'Going Where The Lonely Go' (Epic Records, 1982).

Another track from Merle Haggard's 'Big City' (Epic Records, 1981) was 'I Always Get Lucky With You', which was written by Tex Whitson, Merle Haggard, Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016) and Gary Church. The track was later recorded by George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013) (No.1 for one week in July / August 1983), who included it on 'Shine On' (Epic Records, 1983).

Merle Haggard's 'Big City' (Epic Records, 1981) also included the following tracks:

'Good Old American Guest' (written by Merle Haggard)
'I Think I'm Gonna Live Forever' (written by B. Binion, Merle Haggard and Dennis Hromek)
'This Song Is Mine' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Stop The World & Let Me Off' (written by Carl Belew and W. S. Stevenson)
'Texas Fiddle Song' (written by Leona Williams)
'You Don't Have Very Far To Go' (written by Merle Haggard and Red Simpson)

The CD re-issue of Merle Haggard's 'Big City' (Epic Records, 1981) included two bonus tracks: 'Call Me' (un-credited) and 'I Won’t Give Up My Train' (written by Mark Yeary), the latter a duet with Roger Miller (Thursday 2 January 1936 - Sunday 25 October 1992).

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'Big City' (Epic Records, 1981) included the following:

Merle Haggard (guitar, vocals)
Jimmy Belkin (fiddle)
Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) (guitar, harmonica)
Biff Adam (drums)
Norman Hamlet (steel guitar, dobro)
Dennis Hromek (bass)
Tiny Moore (fiddle, mandolin)
Bobby Wayne (guitar, background vocals)
Leona Williams (background vocals)
Mark Yeary (piano)
Slyde Hyde (trombone)
Don Markham (trumpet, saxophone)

In August 1982, Merle Haggard and George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013) saw the release of 'A Taste of Yesterday's Wine' (Epic Records, 1982), their first album that they recorded together; their next album project together, 'Kickin' Out The Footlights...Again' (Records, 2006), would not be released until twenty-four years later, in 2006.

Merle Haggard and George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013) were largely influenced by the traditional country music sounds of Hank Williams (Monday 17 September 1923 - Thursday 1 January 1953) and Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975).

The album was produced by Billy Sherrill and featured backing vocals from Merle's wife Leona Williams, and featured tributes to the singers; 'Silver Eagle', which was written by Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016) and Gary Church, about Merle Haggard, and 'No Show Jones', which was written by George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013) and Glenn Martin) which dealt with George's notorious inability to arrive at concert dates; this latter track received a large amount of album airplay.

Merle Haggard and George Jones' 'A Taste of Yesterday's Wine' (Epic Records, 1982) included two tracks which were hits on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'A Taste of Yesterday's Wine' (written by Willie Nelson) (No.1 for one week in October 1982)
'C.C. Waterback' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.10, 1982)

To celebrate the chart success of 'C.C. Waterback', Merle Haggard bought 5.095 C.C. Waterbacks (Canadian Club with a water chaser) at Billy Bob's in Fort Worrth, Texas. It took forty gallons of whiskey to fill the order, which totalled $12,737.50.

Merle Haggard and George Jones' 'A Taste of Yesterday's Wine' (Epic Records, 1982) also included the following tracks:

'After I Sing All My Songs' (written by Leona Williams)
I Think I've Found A Way' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Brothers', which was written by Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 - Saturday 17 April 2004)
'Mobile Bay', which was written by Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 - Saturday 17 April 2004) and Curly Putman)
'Must've Been Drunk', which was written by Barns and Vern Gosdin (Sunday 5 August 1934 - Tuesday 28 April 2009)
'I Haven't Found Her Yet', which was written by Merle Haggard and Johnny Paycheck (Tuesday 31 May 1938 - Wednesday 19 February 2003)

In November 1982, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Going Where The Lonely Go' (Epic Records, 1982), which included two tracks which were hit singles on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'Going Where The Lonely Go' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.1 for one week in January 1983)
'You Take Me For Granted' (written by Leona Williams) (No.1 for one week in May / June 1983)

Merle Haggard's 'Going Where the Lonely Go' (Epic Records, 1982) was recorded during the same recording sessions that produced 'Big City' (Epic Records, 1981).

Merle Haggard's 'Going Where the Lonely Go' (Epic Records, 1982) also included the following tracks:

'Why Am I Drinking' (written by Merle Haggard)
'If I Had Left It Up To You' (written by Merle Haggard)
'I Won't Give Up My Train' (written by Mark Yeary)
'Someday You're Gonna Need Your Friends Again' (written by Leona Williams)
'Shopping For Dresses', which was written by Little Jimmy Dickens () and Merle Haggard
'Half a Man' (written by Willie Nelson)
'For All I Know' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Nobody's Darlin' But Mine', which was written by Jimmie Davis (11 September 1899 - Sunday 5 November 2000)
'Now I Know Why I'm Drinking' (hidden track)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'Going Where the Lonely Go' (Epic Records, 1982) included the following:

Merle Haggard (guitar, vocals)
Jimmy Belkin (fiddle)
Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) (guitar, harmonica)
Biff Adam (drums)
Norman Hamlet (steel guitar, dobro)
Dennis Hromek (bass)
Tiny Moore (fiddle, mandolin)
Bobby Wayne (guitar, background vocals)
Leona Williams (background vocals)
Mark Yeary (piano)

In 2011, 'Going Where The Lonely Go' (Epic Records, 1982) was re-issued by BGO Records (7 St Andrews Street, North Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 1TZ, England), along with 'Big City' (Epic Records, 1981).

It was also in November 1982 that Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Goin' Home For Christmas' (Epic Records, 1982), a seasonal album, which included the following tracks:

'Going Home For Christmas'
'Grandma's Homemade Christmas Card'
'Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town'
'Santa Claus And Popcorn'
'Daddy Won't Be Home Again For Christmas'
'If We Make It Through December'
'Bobby Wants A Puppy Dog For Christmas'
'Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer'
'Blue Christmas'
'Lonely Night'

In January 1983, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Pancho & Lefty' (Epic Records, 1983), which was a duet album with Willie Nelson. The album was a blockbuster release and helped to establish Merle and Willie as two of the best-selling and most critically acclaimed of the country music genre.

Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson's 'Pancho & Lefty' (Epic Records, 1983) was recorded, over a five-day period, at Willie Nelson's Pedernales Studio in Spicewood, Texas in November 1982; one night, around midnight, Willie's daughter Lana brought a copy of Emmylou Harris' 'Luxury Liner' (Warner Bros. Records, 1977) to the studio and upon hearing Townes Van Zandt's 'Pancho & Lefty', both Merle and Willie decided to record the track.

Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson's 'Pancho & Lefty' (Epic Records, 1983) included two tracks, which were hit singles on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'Reasons To Quit' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.6, 1983)
'Pancho & Lefty', which was written by Townes Van Zandt (Tuesday 7 March 1944 - Wednesday 1 January 1997) (No.1 for one week in July 1983)

Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson's 'Pancho & Lefty' (Epic Records, 1983) also included the following tracks:

'It's My Lazy Day' (written by Smiley Burnette)
'My Mary', which was written by Stuart Hamblen (Tuesday 20 October 1908 - Wednesday 8 March 1989) and Jimmie Davis (11 September 1899 - Sunday 5 November 2000)
'Half A Man' (written by Willie Nelson)
'No Reason To Quit' (written by Dean Holloway)
'Still Water Runs The Deepest' (written by Jesse Ashlock)
'My Life's Been A Pleasure' (written by Jesse Ashlock)
'All The Soft Places To Fall' (written by Leona Williams)
'Opportunity To Cry' (written by Willie Nelson)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson's 'Pancho & Lefty' (Epic Records, 1983) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocal, guitar)
Willie Nelson (vocal, guitar)
Grady Martin, Reggie Young, Lewis Talley, Chips Moman and Johnny Christopher (guitar)
Mike Leech (bass)
Gene Chrisman (drums)
Johnny Gimble () (fiddle, mandolin)
Bobby Emmons (keyboards)
Bobby Wood (keyboards)
Mickey Raphael (harmonica)
Don Markham (saxophone, trumpet)

The first shipment of Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson's 'Pancho & Lefty' (Epic Records, 1983) is now a collector's item. Through a printing error, the 'a' in 'Pancho' came out as an 'o'.

In August 1983, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'That's The Way Love Goes' (Epic Records, 1983), which included three tracks which were hits on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'What Am I Gonna Do (With The Rest Of My Life)' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.3, 1983)
'That's The Way Love Goes', which was written by Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975) and Sanger D. 'Whitey' Shafer (No.1 for one week in February 1984)
'Someday When Things Are Good' (written by Leona Williams and Merle Haggard) (No.1 for one week in June 1984)

At the Grammy Awards of 1985, Merle Haggard's 'That's The Way Love Goes' (Epic Records, 1983) won the Grammy Award for 'Best Male Country Vocal Performance'.

Merle Haggard's 'That's The Way Love Goes' (Epic Records, 1983) also included the following tracks:

'(I'm Gonna Paint Me) A Bed Of Roses' (written by Merle Haggard and Bobby Whitson)
'Carryin' Fire', which was written by Red Lane ()
'Don't Seem Like We've Been Together All Our Lives' (written by Merle Haggard)
'If You Hated Me', which was written by Merle Haggard, Red Lane () and Dean Holloway
'Love Will Find You' (written by Merle Haggard)
'The Last Boat Of The Day', which was written by Hank Cochran (Friday 2 August 1935 - Thursday 15 July 2010) and Red Lane ()
'I Think I'll Stay' (written by Merle Haggard)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'That's The Way Love Goes' (Epic Records, 1983) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar)
Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001), Reggie Young, Greg Galbraith, Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 - Saturday 17 April 2004), Glenn Martin and Red Lane (guitar)
Norman Hamlet (steel guitar)
Dennis Hromek and Mike Leach (bass)
Gene Chrisman, Kenny Malone and Biff Adams (drums)
Tiny Moore (fiddle, mandolin)
Jimmy Balken (fiddle)
Bobby Wood and Mark Yeary (keyboards)
Terry McMillan () (harmonica)
Don Markham (horns)

Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975) recorded 'That's The Way Love Goes' (co-written with Sanger D. 'Whitey' Shafer) and included the track on 'The Legendary Lefty Frizzell' (ABC Records, 1973).

Johnny Rodriguez recorded 'That's The Way Love Goes', which was written by Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975) and Sanger D. 'Whitey' Shafer, and included the track on 'All I Ever Meant To Do Was Sing' (Mercury Records, 1973); the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in February 1974).

It was also in 1983 when Merle Haggard and Leona Williams saw the release of 'Heart to Heart' (Mercury Records, 1983), which included one track which was a hit on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'We're Strangers Again' (written by Merle Haggard and Leona Williams) (No.42, 1983)

Merle Haggard and Leona Williams' 'Heart to Heart' (Mercury Records, 1983) also included the following tracks:

'Heart To Heart Talk'
'Let's Pretend We're Not Married Tonight'
'You Can't Break The Chains Of Love'
'Waltz Across Texas'
'Waitin' On The Good Life To Come'
'Don't Ever Let Your Lover Sleep Alone'
'It's Cold In California'
'I'll Never Be Free'
'Sally Let Your Bangs Hang Down'



George Strait: 'Right or Wrong' (MCA Records, 1983)

George Strait recorded Merle Haggard's 'Our Paths May Never Cross' and included the track on 'Right or Wrong' (MCA Records, 1983).




In late 1983, Leona Williams filed for divorce; Leona then moved back to Vienna, Missouri where she lived on a farm with her new husband Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 - Saturday 17 April 2004), a former member of Merle Haggard's band, The Strangers.

In June 1984, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'It's All In The Game' (Epic Records, 1984), which included three tracks, which were hits on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'Let's Chase Each Other Around The Room', which was written by Merle Haggard, Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016) and Sherill Rodgers (No.1 for one week in September 1984)
'A Place to Fall Apart', which was written by Merle Haggard, Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016) and Willie Nelson (No.1 for one week in February 1985) / featuring vocals from Janie Fricke
'Natural High', which was written by Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016) (No.1 for one week in June 1985)

Merle Haggard's 'It's All In The Game' (Epic Records, 1984) also included the following tracks:

'It's All In The Game' (written by Carl Sigman and Charles Dawes)
'Little Hotel Room', which was written by Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016)
'I Never Go Home Anymore' (written by Merle Haggard)
'All I Want To Do is Sing My Song', which was written by Merle Haggard and Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016)
'Thank Heaven For Little Girls' (written by Alan Lenner and Frederick Loewe)
'To All The Girls I've Loved Before', which was written by Hal David (Wednesday 25 May 1921 - Saturday 1 September 2012) and Albert Hammond
'You Really Lose Your Mind', which was written by Ernest Tubb (Monday 9 February 1914 - Thursday 6 September 1984)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'It's All In The Game' (Epic Records, 1984) included the following:

Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001), Grady Martin, Chet Atkins (Friday 20 June 1924 - Saturday 30 June 2001) and Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016) (guitar)
Norman Hamlet (steel guitar)
Tiny Moore (mandolin)
Mike Leech (bass)
Kenny Malone (drums)
Jim Belkin (fiddle)
Bobby Wood (piano, keyboards)
Don Markham (sax)
Janie Fricke (vocals)

In August 1984, Merle Haggard was a guest duet partner on the track 'Little Hotel Room', which was included on Ray Charles' 'Friendship' (Columbia Records, 1984); the album was re-issued by Columbia/Legacy Records in 2005.

In March 1985, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Kern River' (Epic Records, 1985), which included one track, which was a hit single on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'Kern River' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.10, 1985)

Merle Haggard's 'Kern River' (Epic Records, 1985) also included the following tracks:

'Old Flames Can't Hold a Candle to You' (written by Hugh Moffatt and Pebe Sebert)
'There I've Said It Again' (written by Redd Evans and Dave Mann)
'You Don't Love Me Anymore', which was written by Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016)
'Natural High', which was written by Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016)
'Big Butter And Egg Man', which was written by Percy Venable and Louis Armstrong (Sunday 4 August 1901 - Tuesday 6 July 1971)
'Ridin' High', which was written by Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016) and Dean Reynolds
'There's Somebody Else On Your Mind' (written by Merle Haggard)
'I Wonder Where I'll Find You At Tonight' (written by Merle Haggard)
'There Won't Be Another Now', which was written by Red Lane ()
'Old Watermill' (written by B.H. Harris)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'Kern River' (Epic Records, 1985) included the following:

Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) and Grady Martin (guitar)
Norman Hamlet (steel guitar, dobro)
Dennis Hromek (bass)
Biff Adam (drums)
Mark Yeary (piano, keyboards)
Tiny Moore (fiddle, mandolin)
Jim Belkin (fiddle)
Don Markham (sax, trumpet, horns)
Janie Fricke (vocals)

In 2011, 'Kern River' (Epic Records, 1985) was re-issued by BGO Records (7 St Andrews Street, North Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 1TZ, England), along with 'Amber Waves of Grain' (Epic Records, 1985).

In October 1985, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Amber Waves of Grain' (Epic Records, 1985), which was a 'live' album recorded during the Summer of 1985 at The Holiday Star Theatre in Merrillville, Indiana and Bob Devaney Sports Complex in Lincoln, NE.

Merle Haggard's 'Amber Waves of Grain' (Epic Records, 1985) included two tracks which were hits on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'Amber Waves of Grain', which was written by Merle Haggard and Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016) (No.36, 1985)
'American Waltz' (written by Troy Seals, John Greenbaum and Eddie Setser) (No.60, 1985)

Merle Haggard's 'Amber Waves Of Grain' (Epic Records, 1985) also included the following tracks:

'Tulare Dust' and 'Mama Tried' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Farmer's Daughter' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Okie From Muskogee's Comin' Home' and 'Okie From Muskogee' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Gone With The Wind' (written by Dennis Barney)
'I Wish Things Were Simple Again', which was written by Merle Haggard, Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000) and Pate Russell
'Workin' Man Blues' (written by Merle Haggard) and 'Always Late (With Your Kisses)', which was written by Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975) and Blackie Crafford

In 2011, 'Amber Waves of Grain' (Epic Records, 1985) was re-issued by BGO Records (7 St Andrews Street, North Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 1TZ, England), along with 'Kern River' (Epic Records, 1985).

In March 1986, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'A Friend in California' (Epic Records, 1986), which included two tracks, which were hits on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'I Had a Beautiful Time' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.5, 1986)
'A Friend in California', which was written by Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016) (No.9, 1986)

Merle Haggard's 'A Friend In California' (Epic Records, 1986) also included the following tracks:

'This Time I Really Do', which was written by Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016)
'Texas', which was written by Merle Haggard and Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016)
'This Cold War With You', which was written by Floyd Tillman (Tuesday 8 December 1914 - Friday 22 August 2003)
'Okie From Muskogee's Comin' Home' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Mama's Prayer' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Silverthorn Mountain' (written by Merle Haggard)
'This Song is For You', which was written by Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016) and Mary Lou Powers
'Thank You For Keeping My House' (written by Merle Haggard and Debbie Parret)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'A Friend In California' (Epic Records, 1986) incuded the following:

Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) and Clint Strong (guitar)
Norman Hamlet (steel guitar, dobro)
Dennis Hromek (bass)
Biff Adam (drums)
Mark Yeary (piano, keyboards)
Tiny Moore (fiddle, mandolin)
Jim Belkin (fiddle)
Don Markham (sax, trumpet)
Gary Church (trumpet, trombone)
Donna Faye and Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016) (vocals)

In October 1986, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Out Among The Stars' (Epic Records, 1986), which included two tracks, which were hits on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'Out Among The Stars' (written by Adam Mitchell) (No.21, 1986)
'Almost Persuaded', which was written by Billy Sherrill () and Glenn Sutton (Tuesday 28 September 1937 - Tuesday 17 April 2007) (No.58, 1987)

Merle Haggard's 'Out Among The Stars' (Epic Records, 1986) also included the following tracks:

'My Life's Been Grand' (written by Merle Haggard and Gordon Terry)
'Love Keeps Hanging On' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Why Can't I Cry' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Love Don't Hurt Anymore' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Pennies From Heaven' (written by Johnny Burke and Arthur Johnson)
'Tell Me Something Bad About Tulsa', which was written by Red Lane ()
'Show's Almost Over' (written by Chuck Howard)
'Bleachers' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Susie' (written by Merle Haggard)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'Out Among The Stars' (Epic Records, 1986) included the following:

Roy Nichols (Friday 21 October 1932 - Tuesday 3 July 2001) and Clint Strong (guitar)
Norman Hamlet (steel guitar, dobro)
Dennis Hromek (bass)
Biff Adam (drums)
Mark Yeary (piano, keyboards)
Tiny Moore (fiddle, mandolin)
Jim Belkin (fiddle)
Don Markham (sax, trumpet)
Gary Church (trumpet, trombone)
Donna Faye and Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016) (vocals)

Ricky Van Shelton recorded Merle Haggard's 'Workin' Man Blues' and included the track on 'Wild-eyed Dreams' (Columbia Records, 1987).

In May 1987, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Walking Down The Line' (Epic Records, 1987), an album project which also featured George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013) and Willie Nelson, and included the following tracks:

'I Gotta Get Drunk'
'No Show Jones'
'Pancho And Lefty'
'Yesterday's Wine'
'Half A Man'
'Big Butter And Egg Man'
'Heaven Or Hell'
'Midnight Rider'
'Are The Good Times Really Over'
'Drunk Can't Be A Man'


In September 1987, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Seashores of Old Mexico' (Epic Records, 1987); the album was a duet project with Willie Nelson and included one track, which was a hit on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'If I Could Only Fly', which was written by Blaze Foley (Sunday 18 December 1949 - Wednesday 1 February 1989) (No.58, 1987)

Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson's 'Seashores of Old Mexico' (Epic Records, 1987) also included the following tracks:

'Seashores of Old Mexico' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Without You On My Side' (written by Merle Haggard)
'When Times Were Good' (written by David Jones)
'Jimmy The Broom', which was written by Merle Haggard and Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016)
'Yesterday', which was written by John Lennon (Wednesday 9 October 1940 - Monday 8 December 1980) and Paul McCartney
'Shotgun & a Pistol' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Love Makes a Fool of Us All', which was written by Hank Cochran (Friday 2 August 1935 - Thursday 15 July 2010) and Glenn Martin
'Why Do I Have To Choose' (written by Willie Nelson)
'Silver Wings' (written by Merle Haggard)

In October 1987, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Chill Factor' (Epic Records, 1987), which included four tracks, which were hit singles on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Star' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.1 for one week in February 1988)
'Chill Factor' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.9, 1988)
'We Never Touch at All', which was written by Hank Cochran (Friday 2 August 1935 - Thursday 15 July 2010) (No.22, 1988)
'You Babe' (written by Sanger D. 'Whitey' Shafer) (No.23, 1988)

Merle Haggard's 'Chill Factor' (Epic Records, 1987) also included the following tracks:

'Man From Another Time', which was written by Merle Haggard and Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016)
'Thanking The Good Lord' (written by Merle Haggard and Theresa Lane)
'After Dark' (written by Merle Haggard)
'1929', which was written by Merle Haggard and Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016)
'Thirty Again' (written by Merle Haggard)
'I Don't Have Any Love Around' (written by Merle Haggard)
'More Than This Old Heart Can Take', which was written by Merle Haggard, Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016) and Dean Holloway

In May 1988, Merle Haggard saw the release of '5:01 Blues' (Epic Records, 1988), which included three tracks, which were hits on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'5:01 Blues' (written by Jeff Tweel and Michael Garvin) (No.18, 1989)
'Better Love Next Time' (written by Johnny Christopher and Bobby Wood) (No.4, 1989)
'If You Want To Be My Woman' (written by Merle Haggard) (No.23, 1989)

Merle Haggard's '5:01 Blues' (Epic Records, 1988) also included the following tracks:

'Broken Friend' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Losin' In Las Vegas' (written by Ray McDonald)
'Someday We'll Know' (written by Merle Haggard and Theresa Lane)
'Wouldn't That Be Something', which was written by Merle Haggard and Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016)
'Sea of Heartbreak', which was written by Hal David (Wednesday 25 May 1921 - Saturday 1 September 2012) and Paul Hampton
'Thousand Lies Ago' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Somewhere Down The Line', which was written by Merle Haggard and Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016)

In 1990, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Blue Jungle' (Curb Records, 1990), which included one track which was a hit on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'When It Rains It Pours' (No.60, 1990)

Merle Haggard's 'Blue Jungle' (Curb Records, 1990) also included the following tracks:

'Blue Jungle'
'Sometimes I Dream'
'My Home Is In The Street'
'Me And Crippled Soldiers'
'Under The Bridge'
'Lucky Old Colorado'
'Driftwood'
'Never No Mo' Blues'
'Bar In Bakersfield'

On Friday 31 August 1990, Randy Travis saw the release of 'Heroes & Friends' (Warner Bros. Records, 1990), his duets album project; with the exception of the title track, every song on the album was a duet with another recording artist.

Merle Haggard was one of the special duet partners on the album and joined Randy Travis on 'All Night Long', which was written by Johnny Gimble () and Bob Wills (Monday 6 March 1905 - Tuesday 13 May 1975).

Randy Travis' 'Heroes & Friends' (Warner Bros. Records, 1990) also included 'Shopping For Dresses', which was written by Little Jimmy Dickens () and Merle Haggard, with special guest vocalist Loretta Lynn, and 'We're Strangers Again' (written by Merle Haggard and Leona Williams) with special guest vocalist Tammy Wynette (Tuesday 5 May 1942 - Monday 6 April 1998).

On Tuesday 22 March 1994, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Merle Haggard: 1994' (Curb Records, 1994), which included one track which was a hit on the Billboard country music singles chart:

'In My Next Life', which was written by Max D. Barnes (Friday 24 July 1936 - Sunday 11 January 2004) (No.58, 1994)

Merle Haggard's 'Merle Haggard: 1994' (Curb Records, 1994) also included the following tracks:

'I Am An Island' , which was written by Max D. Barnes (Friday 24 July 1936 - Sunday 11 January 2004)
'Way Back In The Mountains', which was written by Merle Haggard and Max D. Barnes (Friday 24 July 1936 - Sunday 11 January 2004)
'What's New In New York City' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Set My Chickens Free' (written by Merle Haggard and Richard Smith)
'Chores', which was written by Merle Haggard, Max D. Barnes (Friday 24 July 1936 - Sunday 11 January 2004), Billy Davis and Theresa Lane
'Valentine' (written by Willie Nelson)
'Solid As A Rock', which was written by Merle Haggard and Max D. Barnes (Friday 24 July 1936 - Sunday 11 January 2004)
'Bye Bye Travelin' Blues' (written by Merle Haggard and Dean Holloway)
'Troubadour' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Ramblin' Fever' (written by Merle Haggard)

Personnel who were involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'Merle Haggard: 1994' (Curb Records, 1994) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar)
Biff Adams (drums)
Larry Byrom (guitar)
Glen Duncan (fiddle)
Sonny Garrish (dobro, steel guitar)
Owen Hale (drums)
Norman Hamlet (steel guitar)
Danny Huff, Abe Manuel Junior and Joe Manuel (guitar)
Don Markham (trumpet, saxophone)
Hilton Reed (guitar)
Leland Sklar (bass)
Gary W. Smith (piano)
Joe Spivey (fiddle)
Curtis Wright and Curtis Young (background vocals)

It was also in 1994 when Merle Haggard collaborated with Asleep at the Wheel, and many other artists, influenced by the music of Bob Wills (Monday 6 March 1905 - Tuesday 13 May 1975) on an album entitled 'Tribute to The Music of Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys' (Capitol Records, 1994); the album was re-issued, on CD, by Koch Records in 1995.

On Tuesday 4 October 1994, Clint Black saw the release of his fifth album, 'One Emotion' (RCA Records, 1994), which reached No.8 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart.

Five singles were released from Clint Black's 'One Emotion' (RCA Records, 1994), one of which was 'Untanglin' My Mind'; the track was written by Clint Black and Merle Haggard and reached No.4 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks Chart in 1994.

On Tuesday 23 January 1996, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Merle Haggard: 1996' (Curb Records, 1996), which included the following tracks:

'Sin City Blues' (written by Merle Haggard, Theresa Lane Haggard and Joe Manuel)
'No Time To Cry' (written by Iris Dement)
'Beer Can Hill' (written by Merle Haggard and Abe Manuel Junior)
'Truck Drivers' Blues' (written by Merle Haggard and Tim Howard)
'Too Many Highways', which was written by Merle Haggard and Max D. Barnes (Friday 24 July 1936 - Sunday 11 January 2004)
'Five Days A Week' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Kids Get Lonesome Too' (written by Merle Haggard and Lou Bradley)
'If Anyone Ought To Know', which was written by Merle Haggard and Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006)
'Untanglin' My Mind' (written by Merle Haggard and Clint Black) (No.4, 1994)
'Winds Of Change' (written by Merle Haggard and Terry Hardesty)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'Merle Haggard: 1996' (Curb Records, 1996) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar)
Norman Hamlet (steel guitar, dobro)
Biff Adams (drums)
John Anderson, Dwight Yoakam, Buck Owens (Monday 12 August 1929 - Saturday 25 March 2006) and Johnny Paycheck (Tuesday 31 May 1938 - Wednesday 19 February 2003) (vocals)
Seymour Duncan (guitar)
Eddie Curtis (bass)
Iris DeMent (piano)
Don Markham (trumpet, saxophone, penny whistle)
Hilton Reed (guitar, bass, background vocals)
Oleg Schramm (piano)
Dawn Sears () (background vocals)
Leland Sklar (bass)
Clint Strong (guitar)
Bob Teague (vocals)
Bobby Wood (electric piano)
Mark Yeary (piano)
Terry Hardesty and Tim Howard (guitar)
Abe Manuel Junior (guitar, fiddle, percussion, accordion, harmony vocals)
Joe Manuel (guitar, background vocals)
Jim Belkins (violin)

On Tuesday 24 August 1999, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'For The Record: 43 Legendary Hits' (BNA Records, 1999), which was a two-CD, forty-three song collection of Merle Haggard's greatest hits.

Merle Haggard's 'For The Record: 43 Legendary Hits' (BNA Records, 1999) featured Merle Haggard's re-recordings of his own previously released songs. Guests on the album included Willie Nelson, Brooks & Dunn (Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn) and Alabama.

The new versions of Merle Haggard's classic songs 'Silver Wings' and 'That's The Way Love Goes' featured guest vocals from Jewel.

On Tuesday 10 October 2000, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'If I Could Only Fly' (ANTI Records, 2000), which reached No.26 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart in 2000 and included the following tracks:

'Wishing All These Old Things Were New' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Honky Tonky Mama' (written by Merle Haggard - traditional)
'Turn To Me' (written by Merle Haggard)
'If I Could Only Fly', which was written by Blaze Foley (Sunday 18 December 1949 - Wednesday 1 February 1989)
'Crazy Moon', which was written by Merle Haggard and Max D. Barnes (Friday 24 July 1936 - Sunday 11 January 2004)
'Bareback' (written by Merle Haggard)
'(Think About A) Lullaby' (written by Merle Haggard and Theresa Lane Haggard)
'I'm Still Your Daddy' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Proud To Be Your Old Man' (written by Merle Haggard and Abe Manuel Junior)
'Leavin's Getting Harder' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Thanks To Uncle John' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Listening (To The Wind)' (written by Merle Haggard)

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'If I Could Only Fly' (ANTI Records, 2000) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar)
Biff Adams (drums)
Eddie Curtis (bass)
Floyd Domino (piano)
Norman Hamlet (steel guitar)
Abe Manuel Junior (guitar, fiddle, mandolin, percussion, piano, accordion, harp, harmony vocals)
Joe Manuel (guitar)
Randy Mason (guitar)
Oleg Schramm (piano)
Redd Volkaert (guitar)
Don Markham (saxophone, harmony vocals)

On Tuesday 1 May 2001, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Cabin In The Hills' (Hag Records, 2001), a Bakersfield-style collection of gospel music, either written or arranged by Merle Haggard, with the exception of Iris Dement's sublime 'Shores Of Jordan' and Brumley & Brumley's 'This World Is Not My Home'.

The album was self-produced and was released on his own label, Hag Records, and Merle Haggard was joined on dobro and steel guitar by Norman Hamlet and on vocals by Porter Wagoner (Friday 12 August 1927 - Sunday 28 October 2007) and Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006).

Merle Haggard's 'Cabin In The Hills' (Hag Records, 2001) included the following tracks:

'Life's Railway To Heaven' (written by W.S. Stevenson and Charlie Tillman)
'A Cabin In The Hills' (written by Merle Haggard)
'What Will It Be Like' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Farther Along' (Public Domain)
'Precious Lord, Take My Hand'
'Apart For A While' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Love Lifted Me' (written by Merle Haggard / Traditional)
'Shores Of Jordan' (written by Iris DeMent)
'Lord Don't Give Up On Me' (written by Merle Haggard)
'This World Is Not My Home' (written by Albert E. Brumley / Traditional)

David Ball recorded Merle Haggard's 'Trying Not to Love You' and included the track on 'Amigo' (Dualtone Records, 2001).

On Tuesday 6 November 2001, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Roots, Volume 1' (ANTI Records, 2001), which reached No.47 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart in 2001.

Following the success of Merle Haggard's 'If I Could Only Fly' (ANTI Records, 2000), his first album for the independent record label ANTI Records, Merle followed it with another successful recording with Norman Stephens, the guitarist for Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975), one of Merle Haggard's major influences.

Merle Haggard's 'Roots, Volume 1' (ANTI Records, 2001) included the following tracks:

'Always Late With Your Kisses', which was written by Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975) and Blackie Crawford
'More Than My Old Guitar' (written by Merle Haggard)
'If You've Got the Money I've Got The Time', which was written by Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975) and Jim Beck)
'Look What Thoughts Will Do', which was written by Jim Beck, Little Jimmy Dickens (), Dub Dickerson, Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975) and Richard Duncan James
'My Baby's Just Like Money', which was written by Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975)
'Honky Tonking', which was written by Hank Williams (Monday 17 September 1923 - Thursday 1 January 1953)
'Runaway Mama' (written by Merle Haggard)
'I'll Sign My Heart Away', which was written by Hank Thompson (Thursday 3 September 1925 - Tuesday 6 November 2007)
'I've Got A Tender Heart' (written by Merle Haggard)
'The Wild Side Of Life' (written by Arlie Carter and William Warren)
'Take These Chains From My Heart', which was written by Fred Rose () and Hy Heath ()
'I Want To Be With You Always', which was written by Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975) and Jim Beck

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'Roots, Volume 1' (ANTI Records, 2001) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar)
Theresa Lane Haggard (background vocals, percussion)
Norman Hamlet (steel guitar)
Abe Manuel Junior (fiddle, mandolin, background vocals)
Billy McGill, Chester Smith, Norman Stevens and Redd Volkaert (guitar)
Doug Colosio (piano)
Eddie Curtis (bass)
Johnnie Barber and Brooks Liggatt (drums)

On Tuesday 21 May 2002, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'The Peer Sessions' (Audium Records, 2002).

On this collection, Merle Haggard revisited many of music publisher Peer Music's best-loved songs. Fellow Country Music Hall of Fame member Roy Horton worked with Merle Haggard in selecting which compositions from Ralph S. Peer's extensive library to choose from, and the pair came up with twelve songs from the pens of Jimmie Rodgers (8 September 1897 - Friday 26 May 1933), Jimmie Davis (11 September 1899 - Sunday 5 November 2000), Floyd Tillman (Tuesday 8 December 1914 - Friday 22 August 2003) and Tommy Duncan, among others.

On Tuesday 23 September 2003, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Like Never Before' (Hag Records, 2003), which included the following tracks:

'Haggard (Like I've Never Been Before)' (written by Doug Colosio and Merle Haggard)
'That's The News' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Garbage Man'
'Reno Blues (Philadelphia Lawyer)'
'The Downside' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Because Of Your Eyes' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Lonesome Day' (written by Doug Colosio and Merle Haggard)
'I Dreamed You Didn't Love Me' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Yellow Ribbons' (written by Merle Haggard)
'I Hate To See It Go' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Return To San Francisco' (written by Merle Haggard)


On Tuesday 26 October 2004, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'I Wish I Was Santa Claus' (Smith Music Group Records, 2004), which included the following tracks:

'El Niño' (written by Moore and Willie Nelson)
'I Wish I Were Santa Claus' (written by McDonald)
'Christmas In Cabo San Lucas' (written by Doug Colosio, Dyer, Joss and Williams)
'White Christmas' (written by Irving Berlin)
'Jingle Bells' (written by James Lord Pierpont)
'Santa Claus Is Coming To Town' (written by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie)
'Blue Christmas' (written by Billy Hayes and Jay Johnson)
'I'll Be Home For Christmas' (written by Kent Gannon, James Gannon and Buck Ram)
'Santa Claus And Popcorn' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer' (written by Johnny Marks)
'Silver Bells' (written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston)
'If We Make It Through December' (written by Merle Haggard)

Joe Bonson & Coffee Run recorded Merle Haggard's 'Mama Tried' and included the track on 'Love Train' (Arch Tech Records, 2004).

On Tuesday 14 December 2004, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Unforgettable' (Capitol Records, 2004), on which he tackled material from the American popular songbook, pre-rock & roll vocal pop standards, such as 'As Time Goes By', 'Stardust' and 'I Can't Get Started'.

Merle Haggard's 'Unforgettable' (Capitol Records, 2004) included the following tracks:

'As Time Goes By' (written by Herman Hupfeld)
'Gypsy' (written by Billy Reid)
'Unforgettable' (written by Irving Gordon)
'Stardust' (written by Hoagy Carmichael and Mitchell Parish)
'I Can't Get Started' (written by Vernon Duke and Ira Gershwin)
'Still Missing You', which was written by Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016)
'Pennies From Heaven' (written by Johnny Burke and Arthur Johnston)
'Cry Me A River' (written by Arthur Hamilton)
'I'll Get By (As Long As I Have You)' (written by Fred E. Ahlert and Roy Turk)
'You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You' (written by James Cavanaugh, Russ Morgan and Larry Stock)
'What Love Can Do' (written by Merle Haggard and Theresa Lane Haggard)
'Goin' Away Party', which was written by Cindy Walker ()

On Tuesday 25 October 2005, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Chicago Wind' (Capitol Records, 2005), which reached No.54 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart.

A video was made for the track 'America First' (written by Merle Haggard).

Merle Haggard's 'Chicago Wind' (Capitol Records, 2005) included the following tracks:

'Chicago Wind' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Where's All The Freedom' (written by Merle Haggard)
'White Man Singin' The Blues' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Leavin's Not The Only Way To Go', which was written by Roger Miller (Thursday 2 January 1936 - Sunday 25 October 1992)
'What I've Been Meaning To Say' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Mexico' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Honky Tonk Man' (written by Dewayne Blackwell)
'America First' (written by Merle Haggard)
'It Always Will Be' (written by Willie Nelson)
'I Still Can't Say Goodbye' (written by Robert Blinn and James Moore)
'Some Of Us Fly' (written by Merle Haggard) / this track was a duet with Toby Keith

Personnel involved in the recording of Merle Haggard's 'Chicago Wind' (Capitol Records, 2005) included the following:

Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar)
Thom Bresh (acoustic guitar)
Doug Colosio (keyboards)
Shannon Forrest (drums)
Scott Joss (fiddle, mandolin)
Leland Sklar (bass)
Don Markham (trumpet)
Brent Mason (electric guitar)
Alti Ovarsson (piano)
Herb Pedersen (banjo, background vocals)
Mike Post (guitar, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer)
Michael Rhodes (bass)
John '4 Daddman' Robinson (drums)
Billy Joe Walker Junior (acoustic and electric guitar)
Biff Watson (acoustic guitar)
Gabe Witcher (fiddle)
Reggie Young (electric guitar)

On Tuesday 18 July 2006, Eric Church saw the release of 'Sinners Like Me' (Capitol Records, 2006), which included 'Pledge Allegiance To The Hag' (written by Brett Beavers and Eric Church), an affectionate tribute to Merle Haggard, which also featured Merle as a guest vocalist.


The Grascals recorded Merle Haggard's 'You Don't Have Very Far to Go' (co-written with Red Simpson) and included the track on 'Long List of Heartaches' (Rounder Records, 2006).

On Tuesday 24 October 2006, Merle Haggard & George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013) saw the release of 'Kickin' Out The Footlights...Again' (Bandit Records, 2006), which was their second duets album, following the release, twenty five years earlier, of 'A Taste Of Yesterday's Wine' (Epic Records, 1982).

On 'Kickin' Out The Footlights...Again' (Bandit Records, 2006), Merle and George each sing five songs originally recorded by the other, then team up for four fully-fledged duets, including the title track, which chronicles the tales of an aging country singer, a song clearly intended to appear somewhat autobiographical for these two country music legends.

Merle Haggard & George Jones' 'Kickin' Out The Footlights...Again' (Bandit Records, 2006) included the following tracks:

'Footlights' (written by Merle Haggard) (performed by Merle Haggard and George Jones)
'The Race Is On' (performed by Merle Haggard)
'The Way I Am' (performed by George Jones)
'She Thinks I Still Care' (performed by Merle Haggard)
'All My Friends Are Strangers' (written by E. Howard Anderson) (performed by George Jones)
'Things Have Gone To Pieces', which was written by Leon Payne (Friday 15 June 1917 - Thursday 11 September 1969) (performed by Merle Haggard)
'I Think I'll Just Stay Here And Drink' (written by Merle Haggard) (performed by George Jones)
'Born With The Blues' (written by Merle Haggard) (performed by Merle Haggard and George Jones)
'Sick, Sober & Sorry' (performed by Merle Haggard and George Jones)
'I Always Get Lucky With You' (performed by Merle Haggard)
'Sing Me Back Home' (written by Merle Haggard) (performed by George Jones)
'The Window Up Above' (performed by Merle Haggard)
'You Take Me For Granted' (performed by George Jones)
'Don't Get Around Much Anymore' (performed by Merle Haggard and George Jones)

George Jones and Merle Haggard: 'Jones Sings Haggard, Haggard Sings Jones - Kickin' Out The Footlights...Again' (Bandit Records, 2006)

George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013) and Merle Haggard's 'Jones Sings Haggard, Haggard Sings Jones - Kickin' Out The Footlights...Again' (Bandit Records, 2006) was produced by Merle Haggard, Lou Bradley and Keith Stegall.

On Tuesday 20 March 2007, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson & Ray Price (Tuesday 12 January 1926 - Monday 16 December 2013) saw the release of 'Last Of The Breed' (Lost Highway Records, 2007), a 2-CD set, which included the following tracks:

'My Life's Been A Pleasure' (written by Jesse Ashlock)
'My Mary', which was written by Jimmie Davis (11 September 1899 - Sunday 5 November 2000) and Stuart Hamblen (Tuesday 20 October 1908 - Wednesday 8 March 1989)
'Back To Earth' (written by Willie Nelson)
'Heartaches By The Number', which was written by Harlan Howard (Thursday 8 September 1927 - Sunday 3 March 2002) / this track also featured Vince Gill
'Mom And Dad's Waltz', which was written by Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975)
'Some Other World', which was written by Floyd Tillman (Tuesday 8 December 1914 - Friday 22 August 2003)
'Why Me Lord' (written by Kris Kristofferson) / this track also featured Kris Kristofferson
'Lost Highway', which was written by Leon Payne (Friday 15 June 1917 - Thursday 11 September 1969)
'I Love You A Thousand Ways', which was written by Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975) and Jim Beck
'Please Don't Leave Me Any More Darling' (written by Jesse Ashlock)
'I Gotta Have My Baby Back', which was written by Floyd Tillman (Tuesday 8 December 1914 - Friday 22 August 2003)
'Goin' Away Party', which was written by Cindy Walker (Saturday 20 July 1918 - Thursday 23 March 2006)
'If I Ever Get Lucky' (written by Lou Bradley and Merle Haggard)
'Sweet Memories', which was written by Mickey Newbury (Sunday 19 May 1940 - Sunday 29 September 2002)
'Pick Me Up On Your Way Down', which was written by Harlan Howard (Thursday 8 September 1927 - Sunday 3 March 2002)
'I Love You Because', which was written by Leon Payne (Friday 15 June 1917 - Thursday 11 September 1969)
'Sweet Jesus' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Still Water Runs The Deepest' (written by Jesse Ashlock)
'I Love You So Much It Hurts', which was written by Floyd Tillman (Tuesday 8 December 1914 - Friday 22 August 2003)
'That Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine', which was written by Gene Autry (Sunday 29 September 1907 - Friday 2 October 1998) and Jimmy Long
'I'll Keep On Loving You', which was written by Floyd Tillman (Tuesday 8 December 1914 - Friday 22 August 2003)
'Night Watch', which was written by Cindy Walker (Saturday 20 July 1918 - Thursday 23 March 2006)

On Tuesday 2 October 2007, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'The Bluegrass Sessions' (McCoury Music Records, 2007), the majority of which was recorded 'live' in the studio in one day, with very little overdubbing. Guests on the album included Alison Krauss, Marty Stuart and dobro virtuso Rob Ickes.

Merle Haggard's 'The Bluegrass Sessions' (McCoury Music Records, 2007) included the following tracks:

'Runaway Momma' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Pray' (written by Merle Haggard)
'What Happened?' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Jimmie Rodgers Blues' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Learning To Live With Myself' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Mama's Hungry Eyes' (written by Merle Haggard) / this track featured Alison Krauss
'I Wonder Where To Find You' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Holding Things Together' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Big City' (written by Merle Haggard and Dean Holloway)
'Momma's Prayers' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Wouldn't That Be Something', which was written by Merle Haggard and Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016)
'Blues Stay Away From Me' (written by Alton Delmore, Rabon Delmore, Henry Glover and Wayne Raney)

On Tuesday 20 April 2010, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'I Am What I Am' (Vanguard Records, 2010), which included the following tracks:

'I've Seen It Go Away' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Pretty When It's New' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Oil Tanker Train' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Live And Love Always'
'The Road to My Heart', which was written by Freddy Powers (Tuesday 13 October 1931 - Tuesday 21 June 2016)
'How Did You Find Me Here' (written by Merle Haggard and Theresa Lane Haggard)
'We're Falling In Love Again' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Bad Actor' (written by Doug Colosio, John Scott G., Merle Haggard and Scott Joss)
'Down At The End Of The Road' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Stranger In The City' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Mexican Bands' (written by Merle Haggard)
'I Am What I Am' (written by Merle Haggard)

On Tuesday 4 October 2011, Merle Haggard saw the release of 'Working In Tennessee' (Vanguard Records, 2011), which included the following tracks:

'Working In Tennessee' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Down On The Houseboat' (written by Doug Colosio, Merle Haggard and Theresa Haggard)
'Cocaine Blues' (written by T.J. Arnall)
'What I Hate' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Sometimes I Dream' (written by Jenessa Haggard and Merle Haggard)
'Under The Bridge' (written by Merle Haggard and Theresa Haggard)
'Too Much Boogie Woogie' (written by Merle Haggard)
'Truck Driver's Blues' (written by Merle Haggard and Tim Howard)
'Laugh It Off' (written by Doug Colosio, Merle Haggard and Theresa Haggard)
'Working Man Blues' (written by Merle Haggard) / this track featured guest vocals from Ben Haggard and Willie Nelson
'Jackson' (written by Jerry Leiber and Billy Edd Wheeler) / this track featured guest vocals from Theresa Haggard


Merle Haggard - An Extraordinary Songwriter!
(this part of Merle Haggard's dedicated page is not complete - yet!)


Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) recorded Merle Haggard's 'You Don't Have Very Far To Go' (co-written with Red Simpson) and included the track on 'Don't Take Advantage Of Me' (Capitol Records, 1965).

Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Longer You Wait' and included the track on 'Don't Take Advantage Of Me' (Capitol Records, 1965).

Cal Smith (Thursday 7 April 1932 - Thursday 10 October 2013) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Swinging Doors' and included the track on 'All The World Is Lonely Now' (Kapp Records, 1966).

Johnny Paycheck (Tuesday 31 May 1938 - Wednesday 19 February 2003) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Swinging Doors' and included the track on 'The Lovin' Machine' (Little Darlin' Records, 1966).

Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) recorded Merle Haggard's 'All Of Me Belongs To You' and included the track on 'All Of Me Belongs To You' (Capitol Records, 1967).

Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Will You Want Me Just As Much', which was co-written with Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000), and included the track on 'All Of Me Belongs To You' (Capitol Records, 1967).

Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Consider The Children' (co-written with Dean Holloway) and included the track on 'All Of Me Belongs To You' (Capitol Records, 1967).

Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Somebody Else You've Known' and included the track on 'All Of Me Belongs To You' (Capitol Records, 1967).

Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) recorded Merle Haggard's 'You Don't Even Try' (co-written with Fuzzy Owen) and included the track on 'All Of Me Belongs To You' (Capitol Records, 1967).

Cal Smith (Thursday 7 April 1932 - Thursday 10 October 2013) recorded Merle Haggard's 'The Bottle Let Me Down' and included the track on 'Goin' To Cal's Place' (Kapp Records, 1967).

Conway Twitty (Friday 1 September 1933 - Saturday 5 June 1993) recorded Merle Haggard's 'I Threw Away The Rose' and included the track on 'Conway Twitty Country' (Decca Records, 1967).

Bobby Austin (Friday 5 May 1933 - Sunday 6 January 2002) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Some Of Us Never Learn' and included the track on 'Apartment No.9' (Capitol Records, 1967).

Bobby Austin (Friday 5 May 1933 - Sunday 6 January 2002) recorded Merle Haggard's 'I'm Not Looking For An Angel' (co-written with Fuzzy Owen) and included the track on 'Apartment No.9' (Capitol Records, 1967).

Cal Smith (Thursday 7 April 1932 - Thursday 10 October 2013) recorded Merle Haggard's 'I Threw Away The Rose' and included the track on 'Travelin' Man' (Kapp Records, 1968).

Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Somewhere Between' (co-written with Bonnie Owens) and included the track on 'Somewhere Between' (Capitol Records, 1968).

Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Gone Crazy' (co-written with Bonnie Owens) and included the track on 'Somewhere Between' (Capitol Records, 1968).

Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Whatever Happened To Me' and included the track on 'Somewhere Between' (Capitol Records, 1968).

Johnny Duncan (Wednesday 5 October 1938 - Monday 14 August 2006) recorded Merle Haggard's 'I Take A Lot Of Pride In Who I Am' and included the track on 'Johnny One Time' (Columbia Records, 1968).

Bobby Austin (Friday 5 May 1933 - Sunday 6 January 2002) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Look Over Me' and included the track on 'Old Love Never Dies' (Capitol Records, 1968).

Conway Twitty (Friday 1 September 1933 - Saturday 5 June 1993) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Sing Me Back Home' and included the track on 'Here's Conway Twitty' (Decca Records, 1968).

Marty Robbins (Saturday 26 September 1925 - Wednesday 8 December 1982) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Today I Started Loving You Again', which was co-written with Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006), and included the track on 'I Walk Alone' (Columbia Records, 1968).

Conway Twitty (Friday 1 September 1933 - Saturday 5 June 1993) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Mama Tried' and included the track on 'Next In Line' (Decca Records, 1968).

Conway Twitty (Friday 1 September 1933 - Saturday 5 June 1993) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Today I Started Loving You Again', which was co-written with Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006), and included the track on 'Next In Line' (Decca Records, 1968).

Cal Smith (Thursday 7 April 1932 - Thursday 10 October 2013) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Today I Started Loving You Again', which was co-written with Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) and included the track on 'Drinking Champagne' (Kapp Records, 1968).

The Everly Brothers, Don Everly and Phil Everly (Thursday 19 January 1939 - Friday 3 January 2014), recorded Merle Haggard's 'Mama Tried' and included the track on 'Roots' (Warner Bros. Records, 1968).

The Everly Brothers, Don Everly and Phil Everly (Thursday 19 January 1939 - Friday 3 January 2014), recorded Merle Haggard's 'Sing Me Back Home' and included the track on 'Roots' (Warner Bros. Records, 1968).

Billie Jo Spears (Friday 14 January 1938 - Wednesday 14 December 2011) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Keep Me From Cryin' Today' and included the track on 'Mr. Walker, It's All Over' (Capitol Records, 1969).


Dean Martin (Thursday 7 June 1917 - Monday 25 December 1995) recorded Merle Haggard's 'I Take A Lot Of Pride In What I Am' and included the track on 'I Take A Lot Of Pride In What I Am' (Reprise Records, 1969); the track reached No.75 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in 1969.


Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) recorded Merle Haggard's 'I'll Look Over You' and included the track on 'Lead Me On' (Capitol Records, 1969).

Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Back Of My Hand' and included the track on 'Lead Me On' (Capitol Records, 1969).

Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Livin' On Your Love' and included the track on 'Lead Me On' (Capitol Records, 1969).

Conway Twitty (Friday 1 September 1933 - Saturday 5 June 1993) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Hungry Eyes' and included the track on 'Darling You Know I Wouldn't Lie' (Decca Records, 1969).

Connie Smith: 'Connie's Country' (RCA Records, 1969)
Connie Smith recorded Merle Haggard's 'Today I Started Loving You Again', which was co-written with Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006), and included the track on 'Connie's Country' (RCA Records, 1969).

Connie Smith: 'Connie's Country' (RCA Records, 1969)
Connie Smith recorded Merle Haggard's 'You Don't Have Very Far To Go' (co-written with Red Simpson) and included the track on 'Connie's Country' (RCA Records, 1969).

Hank Williams Junior recorded Merle Haggard's 'I'd Rather Be Gone' and included the track on 'Hank Williams Jr's Greatest Hits' (MGM Records, 1969); the track reached No.4 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1969.

Billie Jo Spears (Friday 14 January 1938 - Wednesday 14 December 2011) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Today I Started Loving You Again', which was co-written with Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006), and included the track on 'Miss Sincerity' (Capitol Records, 1969).

Billie Jo Spears (Friday 14 January 1938 - Wednesday 14 December 2011) recorded Merle Haggard's 'You'll Never Love Me Now' and included the track on 'Miss Sincerity' (Capitol Records, 1969).

Ferlin Husky (Thursday 3 December 1925 - Thursday 17 March 2011) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Okie From Muskogee' (co-written with Roy Burris) and included the track on 'Your Love Is Heavenly Sunshine' (Capitol Records, 1970).

Skeeter Davis (Wednesday 30 December 1931 - Sunday 19 September 2004) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Today I Started Loving You Again', which was co-written with Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006), and included the track on 'A Place in The Country' (RCA Victor Records, 1970).

Conway Twitty (Friday 1 September 1933 - Saturday 5 June 1993) recorded Merle Haggard's 'I'd Rather Be Gone' and included the track on 'To See My Angel Cry' (Decca Records, 1970).

Eddy Arnold recorded Merle Haggard's 'Today I started Loving You Again', which was co-written with Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006), and included the track on 'Love And Guitars' (RCA Records, 1970).

Conway Twitty (Friday 1 September 1933 - Saturday 5 June 1993) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Okie From Muskogee' (co-written with Roy Burris) and included the track on 'To See My Angel Cry' (Decca Records, 1970).

Cal Smith (Thursday 7 April 1932 - Thursday 10 October 2013) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Workin' Man Blues' and included the track on 'Country Hit Parade' (Kapp Records, 1970).

Cal Smith (Thursday 7 April 1932 - Thursday 10 October 2013) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Okie From Muskogee' (co-written with Roy Burris) and included the track on 'Country Hit Parade' (Kapp Records, 1970).

Cal Smith (Thursday 7 April 1932 - Thursday 10 October 2013) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Hungry Eyes' and included the track on 'Country Hit Parade' (Kapp Records, 1970).

Melba Montgomery recorded Merle Haggard's 'Hungry Eyes' and included the track on 'Don't Keep Me Lonely Too Long' (Capitol Records, 1970).

Conway Twitty (Friday 1 September 1933 - Saturday 5 June 1993) recorded Merle Haggard's 'I Wonder What She'll Think About Me Leaving' and included the track on 'I Wonder What She'll Think About Me Leaving' (Decca Records, 1971); the track reached No.4 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1971.

Bob Luman (Thursday 15 April 1937 - Wednesday 27 December 1978) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Today I started Loving You Again', which was co-written with Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006), and included the track on 'Is It Any Wonder That I Love You' (Epic Records, 1971).

Hank Snow () recorded Merle Haggard's 'Seashores of Old Mexico' and included the track on 'Award Winners' (RCA Records, 1971); the track reached No.6 on the Canadian RPM Top Country Tracks Chart in 1971.


Freddy Weller recorded Merle Haggard's 'Seashores of Old Mexico' and included the track on 'The Promised Land' (Columbia Records, 1971).


Connie Smith recorded Merle Haggard's 'Jesus, Take a Hold' and included the track on 'Where is My Castle' (RCA Records, 1971).

Charlie McCoy recorded Merle Haggard's 'Today I Started Lovinng You Again', which was co-written with Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006), and included the track on 'The Real McCoy' (Monument Records, 1972); the track reached No.16 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1972.


Obie Burnett McClinton () recorded Merle Haggard's 'Okie from Muskogee' and included the track on 'O.B. Country' (Enterprise records, 1972).

Billy 'Crash' Craddock recorded Merle Haggard's 'I'm A White Boy' and included the track on 'Two Sides Of Crash' (ABC Records, 1973).

Charley Pride recorded Merle Haggard's 'A Shoulder To Cry On' and included the track on 'Sweet Country' (RCA Victor Records, 1973); the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in April 1973.

Johnny Rodriguez recorded Merle Haggard's 'Love And Honour' and included the track on 'All I Ever Meant To Do Was Sing' (Mercury Records, 1973).

Cal Smith (Thursday 7 April 1932 - Thursday 10 October 2013) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Swinging Doors' and included the track on 'Swinging Doors' (Coral Records, 1973).

Cal Smith (Thursday 7 April 1932 - Thursday 10 October 2013) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Okie From Muskogee' (co-written with Roy Burris) and included the track on 'Swinging Doors' (Coral Records, 1973).


Obie Burnett McClinton () recorded Merle Haggard's 'Today I Started Loving You Again', which was co-written with Bonnie Owens (), and included the track on 'Obie from Senatobie' (Enterprise records, 1973).


Mel Street: 'Two Way Street' (GRT Records, 1974)

Mel Street (Saturday 21 October 1933 - Saturday 21 October 1978) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Today I Started Loving You Again', which was co-written with Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006), and included the track on 'Two Way Street' (GRT Records, 1974).

Bob Luman (Thursday 15 April 1937 - Wednesday 27 December 1978) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Mama Tried' and included the track on 'Red Cadillac And A Red Mustache' (Epic Records, 1974).

Kenny Seratt recorded Merle Haggard's 'Love & Honor' and included the track on 'Love & Honor' (MGM Records, 1974).

Kenny Seratt recorded Merle Haggard's 'Seashores of Old Mexico' and included the track on 'Love & Honor' (MGM Records, 1974).

Dolly Parton recorded Merle Haggard's 'You'll Always Be Special To Me' and included the track on 'The Bargain Store' (RCA Records, 1975).


Sammi Smith (Thursday 5 August 1943 - Saturday 12 February 2005) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Today I Started Loving You Again', which was co-written with Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006), and included the track on 'Today I Started Loving You Again' (Mega Records, 1975); the track reached No.9 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1975.

Dolly Parton recorded Merle Haggard's 'Life's Like Poetry' and included the track on 'All I Can Do' (RCA Records, 1976).

Kenny Seratt recorded Merle Haggard's 'I Threw Away The Rose' and included the track on 'Kenny Seratt' (Music City Records, 1977).

Faron Young (Thursday 25 February 1932 – Tuesday 10 December 1996) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Always Wanting You' and included the track on 'That Young Feeling' (Mercury Records, 1978).

In 1979, Ernest Tubb (Monday 9 February 1914 - Thursday 6 September 1984) saw the release of 'The Legend And The Legacy' (Cachet Records, 1979); the album featured Merle Haggard and Charlie Daniels on the track 'Walkin' The Floor Over You' (written by Ernest Tubb), which reached No.31 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1979.

When Ernest Tubb's 'The Legend And The Legacy' (Cachet Records, 1979) was re-issued, as a 2-CD set by Step One Records in 1989, it featured additional tracks, including Merle Haggard on 'Seaman's Blues' (written by Ernest Tubb).


George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013) recorded Merle Haggard's 'I Always Get Lucky With You' (co-written with Tex Whitson, Freddy Powers and Gary Church) and included the track on 'Shine On' (Epic Records, 1983); the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in July/August 1983.

Gene Watson recorded Merle Haggard's 'I Must Be Somebody Else' and included the track on 'Heartaches, Love And Stuff' (MCA Records, 1984); Merle Haggard originally recorded 'I Must Be Somebody Else' and included the track on 'Swinging Doors And The Bottle Let Me Down' (Capitol Records, 1966).

Cal Smith (Thursday 7 April 1932 - Thursday 10 October 2013) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Big City' (co-written with Dean Holloway) and included the track on 'Turn Me Loose' (51 West Records, 1984).

Cal Smith (Thursday 7 April 1932 - Thursday 10 October 2013) recorded Merle Haggard's 'My Favourite Memory' and included the track on 'Turn Me Loose' (51 West Records, 1984).

Ray Charles (Tuesday 23 September 1930 - Thursday 10 June 2004) recorded Freddy Powers' 'Little Hotel Room' and included the track on 'Friendship' (Columbia Records, 1985); Merle Haggard was a guest vocalist on the track.

Ray Charles' 'Friendship' (Colubia Records, 1985) was re-issued by Columbia/Legacy Records in 2005.

The Kendalls - Royce Kendall (Wednesday 25 September 1935 - Friday 22 May 1998) and Jeannie Kendall - recorded Merle Haggard's 'Somewhere Between' and included the track on 'Two Heart Harmony' (Mercury Records, 1985).

Suzy Bogguss recorded Merle Haggard's 'Somewhere Between' and included the track on 'Somewhere Between' (Liberty Records, 1989).

Benny Berry recorded Merle Haggard's 'I'm Turning Off a Memory' and included the track on 'Standing Here Alone' (Hawk Records, 1990).

Benny Berry recorded Merle Haggard's 'Jesus, Take A Hold' and included the track on 'When The Trains Still Ran Through Dixie' (Hawk Records, 1993).

Alison Krauss & The Cox Family recorded Merle Haggard's 'Where No One Stands Alone' (co-written with Mosie Lister) and included the track on 'I Know Who Holds Tomorrow' (Rounder Records, 1994).

Ronnie Reno & The Reno Brothers (Don Wayne Reno and Dale Reno) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Love Slips Away' (co-written with Ronnie Reno) and included the track on 'Swing West' (Pinecastle Records, 1995).

Ronnie Reno & The Reno Brothers' 'Swing West' (Pinecastle Records, 1995) also included 'I'm So Dog Gone Used To Lovin' You', which was written by Wayne Carson () and Mel Tillis; the track namechecked Merle Haggard.

Johnny Rodriguez recorded Merle Haggard's 'If I'd Left It Up To You' and included the track on 'You Can Say That Again' (Hightone Records, 1996).

On Tuesday 24 June 1997, Jeff Carson saw the release of 'Butterfly Kisses' (Curb Records, 1997), which was produced by Chuck Howard and Merle Haggard; the album included 'Today I Started Loving You Again', which was written by Merle Haggard and Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006), and which featured Merle Haggard as a duet partner.

Kathy Robertson recorded Merle Haggard's 'Turn Me On', which was co-written with Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006), and included the track on 'To Roy Nichols With Love...' (Cowgirl Records, 1997).

Kathy Robertson recorded Merle Haggard's 'Shopping For Dresses' (co-written with Little Jimmy Dickens) and included the track on 'To Roy Nichols With Love...' (Cowgirl Records, 1997); the track featured guest vocals from Joe Manual.

Kathy Robertson recorded Merle Haggard's 'Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide', which was co-written with Tommy Collins (Sunday 28 September 1930 - Tuesday 14 March 2000), and included the track on 'To Roy Nichols With Love...' (Cowgirl Records, 1997); the track featured guest vocals from James Intveld.

Kathy Robertson recorded Merle Haggard's 'Today I Started Loving You Again', which was co-written with Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006), and included the track on 'To Roy Nichols With Love...' (Cowgirl Records, 1997).

George Strait recorded Merle Haggard's 'My Life's Been Grand' (co-written with Terry Gordon) and included the track on 'The Road Less Traveled' (MCA Records, 2001); Merle Haggard recorded the original version of 'My Life's Been Grand' and included the track on 'Out Among The Stars' (Epic Records, 1986).

George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Today I Started Loving You Again', which was co-written with Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006), and included the track on 'Hits I Missed...& One I Didn't' (Bandit Records, 2005), which was produced by Keith Stegall.

Marti Brom recorded Merle Haggard's 'Thirteen Steps Away' and included the track on 'Marti Brom Sings...Heartache Numbers' (Goofin' Music Records, 2005).

Billy Keeble recorded Merle Haggard's 'If I'd Left It Up to You' and included the track on 'The Real Me' (Global Records, 2005), which was produced by Curt Ryle.


George Strait recorded Merle Haggard's 'Seashores of Old Mexico' and included the track on 'Somewhere Down in Texas' (MCA Records, 2005); the track reached No.11 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart in early 2006.

Mark Chesnutt recorded Merle Haggard's 'A Shoulder to Cry On' and included the track on 'Heard It in a Love Song' (CBUJ Records, 2006).


Joe Nichols recorded Merle Haggard's 'If I Could Only Fly' (featuring guest vocals from Lee Ann Womack) and included the track on 'Real Things' (Universal South Records, 2007).


Gene Watson recorded Merle Haggard's 'Today I Started Loving You Again', which was co-written with Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006), and included the track on 'In a Perfect World' (Shanachie Records, 2008); the track featured vocal harmonies from Lee Ann Womack.

Merle Haggard originally recorded 'Today I Started Loving You Again', which was co-written with Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006), and included the track on 'The Legend Of Bonnie & Clyde' (Capitol Records, 1968).


The Grascals recorded Merle Haggard's 'Today I Started Loving You Again', which was co-written with Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 - Monday 24 April 2006), and included the track on 'Keep on Walkin' (Rounder Records, 2008).


Marianne Faithfull recorded Merle Haggard's 'Sing Me Back Home' and included the track on 'Easy Come, Easy Go' (France: Naive Records, 2008 / United States: Decca Records, 2009 / United Kingdom: Dramatico Records, 2009 / Australia: Shock Records, 2009); the track featured guest vocals from Keith Richards.

Aaron Tippin recorded Merle Haggard's 'Movin' On' and included the track on 'In Overdrive' (Country Crossing Records, 2009).

Janie Brannon (Sunday 26 September 1943 - Thursday 27 June 2013) recorded Merle Haggard's 'I've Got A Yearning' and included the track on 'Honky Tonk Memories' (Hillside Records, 2010).

The Clinton Gregory Bluegrass Band recorded Merle Haggard's 'Looking For a Place to Fall Apart', which was co-written with Willie Nelson and Freddy Powers (), and included the track on 'Roots of My Raising' (Melody Roundup Music Records, 2013).

The Clinton Gregory Bluegrass Band recorded Merle Haggard's 'Living With The Shades Pulled Down', which was co-written with Boudleaux Bryant (Friday 13 February 1920 - Thursday 25 June 1987) and Felice Bryant (Wednesday 7 August 1925 - Tuesday 22 April 2003), and included the track on 'Roots of My Raising' (Melody Roundup Music Records, 2013).

THE ROYS (Lee Roy and Elaine Roy) recorded Merle Haggard's 'Ramblin' Fever' and included the track on 'Gypsy Runaway Train' (Rural Rhythm Records, 2013).

Garth Brooks recorded Merle Haggard's 'Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down' and included the track on 'Blame It All On My Roots: Five Decades of Influences' (Pearl Records, 2013); the track was included within the 'Country Classics' album.

Gene Watson recorded Merle Haggard's 'I Forget You Everyday' and included the track on 'My Heroes Have Always Been Country' (Fourteen Carat Music, 2014).

Don Williams recorded Merle Haggard's 'Sing Me Back Home' and included the track on 'Reflections' (Sugar Hill Records, 2014).

Justin Trevino recorded Merle Haggard's 'Shelley's Winter Love' and included the track on 'Live at London Dance Hall' (Heart of Texas Records, 2015).


Mark Chesnutt recorded Merle Haggard' 'There Won't Be Another Now', which was co-written with Red Lane (), and included the track on 'Tradition Lives' ( Records, 2016); the track was a tribute to Merle Haggard (Tuesday 6 April 1937 - Wednesday 6 April 2016) and Red Lane ().

Visit Merle Haggard's Official Site

CMP



Country Music People is Europe’s number one country music magazine.

Country Music People is the specialist expert on country music - past, present and future.

Hux Records



Since February 1998, England-based Hux Records have been specialists in releasing classic archive recordings.

Gene Watson Fan Site