Merle Haggard songs, vinyl records and albums have always been favorites in my collection.
When I listen to one of his songs and read what all he's been through, it's easy to understand why Merle probably wrote most of the song lyrics about his own life and the hard times he grew up in.
Of all the country music greats, Merle’s story might be the most symbolic of the American experience, from growing up in California during the Depression, to spending time in prison, to becoming a rags to riches story.
But when it comes to influencing country music itself, few this side of the legendary Hank Williams can say they’ve left a bigger footprint.
Haggard, along with Buck Owens, created the “Bakersfield Sound,” a style of country music, a mix of electric guitars and pedal steel guitars that was popular in the bars and honky tonks of Bakersfield, California, a town about 100 miles north of Los Angeles.
Of all the country singers, I believe Merle has the best "Makes it sound so easy" voice in the business. As you watch the videos you will see why I believe Merle is truly a one of a kind country singer.
One of my favorite Merle Haggard songs, "The Roots of my Raising" reminds me of my early years growing up in the midwest. In an early verse in the song Merle sings......
"Three miles down a gravel road, I could see the proud old home---A tribute to a way of life that's almost come and gone."
How true that is today. It would be hard for anyone that did not grow up in the fifties and sixties, and seventies to really understand how carefree and simple life really was.
I listened to Merle in the sixties but when I purchased his album "The Fightin' Side of Me" in 1970 he became my favorite country artist.
Merle Haggard wrote like people talk. That sounds easy. It’s not. Country music as a genre is stripped down straight talk, but no one did it quite like Haggard. Haggard’s writing always read more like a monologue. A conversation on a porch. It sounded like people talking.
The "Fightin' Side" live album is one of the best live recordings I have in my collection. It is an original album I still have today in excellent condition.
Merle has 38 number one songs and here is a list of his numerous awards.
Below is some of my favorite recordings by Merle. I have placed videos with each set of lyrics so you can see how Merle's style has never really changed in over fifty years. I believe the song "Misery and Gin" is one of the best bar room songs ever written. Just my opinion.
Merle's duet with Jewel on "That's The Way Love Goes" with full orchestra will have you playing the video over and over. My favorite on this "Fightin' Side" album is "I Take A Lot of Pride In What I Am," and Merle's perfect renditions of Johnny Cash and Marty Robbins songs will have you believing they're singing live on stage with him.
Sadly, one of the great country legends of our time, died on his birthday, April 6, 2016. God Bless you Merle Haggard for making country music a pleasure to listen to and the way it should be played.
"Tear Time" takes you through a feminine emotional experience and will touch your heart with the lyrics, "All it takes is the smallest thought of you ... Then tear time starts crying all night through." Read more ...
Patsy Montana's cowboy song lyrics paints a different picture of a woman who wants to rope and ride and sleep out under the stars, just like her Cowboy Sweetheart. Suzy Bogguss does the song proud. Read More...
"I was dancing with my darling to the Tennessee Waltz
When an old friend I happened to see..
Introduced her to my loved one, and while they were dancing,
My friend stole my sweetheart from me"
While the tears on my make-up melts my painted smile into a frown.
The crowd thinks I'm a dandy I'm Bandy the rodeo clown...Read more.
Favorite Merle Haggard songs and performances.
Enjoy some toe-taping honky tonk classics on these two great DVD's.
Polish up your spurs, Saddle up ole paint and get ready to relive your childhood! Come with me and let's relive those bygone days with these cowboy campfire songs and fond memories of your favorite silver screen cowboys. Read more...
Patsy Cline songs are the voice of the average woman...the waitress at the diner, the counter girl at the all-night truck stop, or even the stay-at-home mom who stops to wonder what happened to all her dreams. Patsy Cline was their voice. Read more...
Amarillo By Morning is a Rodeo ballad first recorded in 1973, but the George Strait version which came out ten years later is the one everyone knows and turned Strait into an overnight star. The whining fiddle arrangement will stay with you long after the song ends. Read more...
One of the all time classic country cheating songs that finds the singer having a torrid affair with a lover in another city and state. Read more...
Cattle Call was originally recorded by Eddy Arnold in 1945, and re-recorded in 1955, spending 26 weeks on the country chart, 2 of the 26 at #1. Forty years later, Eddy Arnold joined 13-year-old Texan LeAnn Rimes on a version of "Cattle Call" for her 1996 Curb debut album, Blue. Read more.
It's been more than fifty years since I heard this wonderful old tune.
A song I heard only a few times back in 1964, but from the first note of this memory-filled song, I was swimming in a sea of nostalgia. Read more ...
A Top Ten Country Album with a near perfect cover of the song, "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry." A truly unique cover of this Hank Williams standard. Read more...
Visit the Johnny Tillotson Amazon store.