During last night’s concert in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mumford and Sons rolled out a rollicking version of “Okie From Muskogee” in tribute to Merle Haggard following the news of his passing at age 79. The band, joined by opening act Blake Mills, lit into the late country legend’s hit and the crowd, as expected, collectively lost their minds. Tweets came rolling in from fans in appreciation of the nod to the most talented singer in country music history.
Minutes ago my phone began to buzz with texts from friends sharing the sad news that Merle Haggard died earlier today at the age of 79. I’m not sure exactly what this post is going to be, I just know that I have to try to express my admiration and thanks to one of the greatest song writers and THE most talented singer in country music history.
An astounding live clip by country music icon Merle Haggard of a song he wrote for friend and fellow star Johnny Paycheck has emerged online. This is believed to be the only known performance of the song entitled “From Inside the Walls.” See the killer footage and get the fascinating back story on the show that featured Paycheck performing for fellow inmates at Chillicothe State Prison.
Tonight is the premiere event of the two-part miniseries Bonnie & Clyde starring Holliday Grainger and Emile Hirsch simulcast on three different networks (History, A&E, and Lifetime). In honor of the story of America’s most notorious outlaw couple being retold on the small screen, I thought I might gather together some of the best musical tributes to Bonnie & Clyde from over the nearly eight decades since they went on their headline-grabbing crime spree that lasted for years before both were shot and killed in an ambush in Bienville Parish, Louisiana on May 23, 1934.
“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” – Washington Irving
If you were to put me in a fantasy music ship and asked me to concoct a concept for an album, it would be something like the upcoming release The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams. Bob Dylan gets the unfinished lyrics of Hank Williams, then recruits greats like Alan Jackson, Lucinda Williams, Levon Helm and Jack White to finish writing the songs and make an album out of it. See the cover art work, get the track listing and find out where you can pre-order your copy of what promises to be an instant classic.
Bonus: See Lucinda Williams performing her song live from the night she got married on stage!
30 years ago country music legend Merle Haggard released the album Back to the Barrooms right on the heels of The Way I Am. The album’s theme of loss imbued with a going down to hell drinking attitude have stood the test of time leaving in its wake a generation of musicians and fans in awe of the masterpiece from the man they call The Hag. Read on for a 30-year-retrospective on the greatest drinking album ever recorded.
PBS will air another installment of their incomparable American Masters series this time focusing their sights square on Merle Haggard, a man who is in the argument for greatest country music artist that has ever been. The special is called Learning To Live With Myself and it promises to be an absolute mind blower for Haggard fans and a go to reference for anyone else looking to discover “The Hag.” See a preview, an interview with the director and listen to a 10 song study guide to get you prepared for the show’s premiere Wednesday night!