Sunday, August 30, 2015


“Merle Haggard is such a commanding, penetrating songwriter, and his voice seems so entwined with the melody and rhythm of his best compositions, that it’s sometimes easy to forget he’s also a great singer. Haggard didn’t write “Sing a Sad Song,” but his first hit reveals just how affecting a vocalist he was from the start. . . .” —David Cantwell, Heartaches by the Number

252.  Sing a Sad Song • Merle Haggard • 1963

Merle Haggard, vocal/guitar; Roy Nichols, guitar; Denver Moles, guitar; Wynn Stewart, guitar; Ralph Mooney, steel guitar; poss. Bobby Austin, bass; poss. Helen “Peaches” Price, drums. poss. George French Jr., piano; other details unknown. Hollywood, California, 1963

Get it: Country & Western Hit Parade 1964

Image: Merle Haggard, KUZZ radio picnic, Bakersfield, c. mid-1960s. (Left to right: Jerry Ward, Bonnie Owens, Merle Haggard, Don Rich.) Sonny Langley/That Bakersfield Sound

This week on Blues All Kinds . . . Big Mama Thornton with Fred McDowell, The Louvin Brothers, Johnny Duhon & the Yello-Jakets, Iris DeMent, Big Bill Broonzy, Lucille Bogan, and . . . Ray Charles.

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