On Monday, April 13, A&E will share a Merle Haggard Tribute Special honoring the music and legacy of the country icon. He has accumulated 38 No. 1 songs, released nearly 70 albums and was awarded a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award. To celebrate Merle’s life and music, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite renditions of Merle’s timeless music.
George Strait – “Sing Me Back Home” (1967)
Country music legend, George Strait, took to the stage to share his version of this Merle classic. “Sing Me Back Home” was Merle’s third number one, with the track spending a total of 17 weeks on the country chart.
Luke Bryan – “Pancho & Lefty” (1983)
Luke Bryan recorded his version of “Pancho & Lefty” which was a part of the Working Man’s Poet: A Tribute To Merle Haggard. The song served as the title track of a collaborative album between Merle and Willie Nelson.
Tanya Tucker “Someday When Things Are Good” (1983)
Tanya Tucker put her spin on Merle’s 1983 classic “Someday When Things Are Good,” which was the first single from his compilation album His Epic Hits: The First 11 (To Be Continued…). Ultimately, the track became Merle’s 31 No. 1 song.
Brothers Osborne – “Natural High” (1984)
Brothers Osbourne shared their cover of “Natural High” in 2015. Originally, the song was released in March 1984 as the third single from Merle’s album It’s All In The Game and was subsequently spent 12 weeks on the Billboard country charts.
Amy Jack – “Got Lonely Too Early” (1979)
Amy Jack released her version of “Got Lonely Too Early” as part of her debut album Introducing Amy Jack, which was also produced by Merle himself. The project was one of the last projects he was a part of before his passing.
Ronnie Dunn – “That’s The Way Love Goes” (1983)
Ronnie Dunn gave a stripped down, acoustic version of “That’s The Way Love Goes,” which was the title track from Merle’s 38th studio album. Originally, Merle had recorded the track in the mid-seventies, but was never fully satisfied with it, he revisited the track once again and the rest is history. However, the first version can be found on the box set Hag: The Studio Recordings 1969-1976.
Johnny Meyer – “If We Make It Through December” (1973)
Johnny Meyer shared his rendition of “If We Make It Through December” nearly 46 years after the original release. Additionally, the track was listed as No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles 1974 year-end chart.
William Michael Morgan – “Ramblin’ Fever” (1977)
Country crooner William Michael Morgan covered Merle’s 1977 classic “Ramblin’ Man” which was the second single and title track from Ramblin’ Fever.