Merle Haggard & The Strangers

Opryland (Nashville, TN)

Feb 13, 1981

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  1. 1 Introduction 00:06
  2. 2 Misery & Gin 02:53
  3. 3 Honky Tonk Night Time Man / Old Man From The Mountain 03:51
  4. 4 Holding Things Together 03:34
  5. 5 Ramblin' Fever 03:40
  6. 6 Every Fool Has A Rainbow 01:53
  7. 7 Daddy Frank (The Guitar Man) 03:15
  8. 8 Things Aren't Funny Anymore 02:31
  9. 9 Interlude 00:32
  10. 10 Swinging Doors 05:29
  11. 11 Heaven Was A Drink Of Wine 03:53
  12. 12 Silver Wings 02:53
  13. 13 Today I Started Loving You Again 05:50
  14. 14 Hungry Eyes 03:01
  15. 15 Mama Tried 02:41
  16. 16 You'll Always Be Special To Me 02:49
  17. 17 Footlights 03:51
  18. 18 Mother, The Queen Of My Heart 04:33
  19. 19 Interlude 01:47
  20. 20 The Way I Am 02:47
  21. 21 Okie From Muskogee 02:21
  22. 22 San Antonio Rose 03:44
  23. 23 I Think I'll Just Stay Here And Drink 04:20
More Merle Haggard & The Strangers

Merle Haggard - vocals, guitar
Gordon Terry - fiddle
Dennis Hromek - bass
Don Markham - saxophone, trumpet
Roy Nichols - guitar
Ronnie Reno - guitar, harmonica, backing vocals
Mark Yeary - piano
Bonnie Owens - backing vocals
Biff Adams - drums
Norman Hamlet - steel guitar

With the exception of his friend and contemporary, the late Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard was arguably the most important country artist to emerge from the 1960s. A founding member of the outlaw country music movement (along with Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson, among others), Haggard not only sang about the lifestyle, he lived it.

Balancing a shaky marriage, tough financial times, a number of manual labor jobs and a genuine effort to break into the country music scene, Haggard ended up, in 1957, being arrested for a failed robbery attempt. That stint, plus an escape from the local prison where he was awaiting trial, landed him a 15-year stint in San Quinton State Prison in California.

While in prison, he turned his life around and was paroled after serving less than three years. He decided to focus on a career in country music and never looked back. That was 1960. By the end of the decade, Haggard was the biggest star in country music. His classic "Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down" topped the charts in 1966, and he later scored three #1 songs in a row in 1969.

One of those songs was "Okie from Muskogee," a direct attack on the liberal political views of the hippie movement, and further polarized the country during the tumultuous Vietnam war. From that point on, Haggard has gone on to have a myriad of country and crossover hits, and continues writing, recording and touring today. He is largely credited (along with Buck Owens and others) with establishing the Bakersfield Sound.

This concert, recorded in 1981, is an example of the kind of country music Haggard has woven into the fabric of our culture.