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October 25

“Bar Room Buddies:” Merle Haggard & Clint Eastwood’s No. 1 Hit

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For many years, California-native Clint Eastwood has been known as an actor, filmmaker, and political figure. But, did you know that he is also a musician and a singer? He even had one song that sat atop the country charts. Well, if you’re quite surprised, worry not, because for sure many people also do!

In case you didn’t know, Eastwood has collaborated with a lot of country music artists especially in acting and filmmaking. However, in 1980, led him to work with country legend Merle Haggard in producing an unlikely duet. This collaboration song was “Bar Room Buddies.”

“Bar Room Buddies:” Clint Eastwood’s Only Country Hit

Released on April 21, 1980, “Bar Room Buddies” came into existence. Thanks to the effort of songwriters Milton Brown, Cliff Crofford, Steve Dorff, and Snuff Garrett. Popularly, it was recorded by country music artist Merle Haggard together with actor Clint Eastwood.

Immediately after its release, fans nationwide fell in love with the song. Soon enough, they put the song at the number one spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs. Similarly, the song charted atop the RPM Country Tracks in Canada. Moreover, “Bar Room Buddies” remained on top for one week and spent a total of 13 weeks on the country charts.

Haggard-Eastwood Duet

The unlikely duet of the two artists from different fields produced magic that was favorably received by the audience. As a matter of fact, Eastwood’s duet with the country superstar Haggard was his one, and the only country hit ever. This duet just proves his versatility. To note, he is not just an incredible actor and director, but he is also a talented singer and musician.

In one of his interviews with Rolling Stone Magazine, Eastwood admittedly said that the number one performing hit they have had belonged to Merle Haggard. Also, he even suggested that:

“’The Hag’ sort of dragged [him] along.”

As for Haggard, he attested to this and evidently agreed with Eastwood’s assessment.

From George Jones to Clint Eastwood

While Eastwood admittedly said that he was just “dragged along” Haggard’s excellent performance, the latter revealed that it wasn’t really he who was the first choice for the duet.

In fact, Haggard told Newsweek magazine:

“Eastwood wasn’t a very good singer. But, Clint was making the movie (Bronco Billy), financing and directing it. Why not let him go ahead and do a duet with me if he wanted to?”

In response, Eastwood immediately confirmed his interest in the former’s request.

On the other hand, it was actually George Jones who had been initially selected for the duet. However, Jones was unable to commit because of his prior schedules and legal commitments.

Now, here is “Bar Room Buddies,” which Merle Haggard and Clint Eastwood recorded in 1980:


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Bar Room Buddies, clint eastwood, merle haggard


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