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December 12

The Everly Brothers’ Version of Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried”

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Only a few people know that the brother duo, The Everly Brothers, were inducted in both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As much as this fact is known only to a few, it should come as no surprise that The Everly Brothers is such a rare gem in the music industry.

In 1969, The Everly Brothers performed on live television Merle Haggard’s famous hit, “Mama Tried.” Putting a unique twist on the song, The Everly Brothers displayed such a great talent.

“Mama Tried” by Merle Haggard

Released in 1968, “Mama Tried” was penned and recorded by country music legend Merle Haggard. It is a song very true to him and close to his heart. Whereas, the tune speaks of the pain and suffering he caused his mother by being imprisoned when he was 20 years old. However, “Mama Tried” is not completely autobiographical. In the song, Haggard talked about “life without parole,” but he was not sentenced in reality. Despite this difference, the song was still a reflection of his life.

Furthermore, “Mama Tried” became one of the cornerstone songs of Haggard’s career. In fact, it earned him the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1999. On March 23, 2016, the song got selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry due to its “cultural, historic, or artistic significance.”

Check out Merle Haggard and His original version of “Mama Tried:”

The Everly Brothers Renders “Mama Tried”

Merle Haggard released “Mama Tried” as a single in 1968. The following year, The Everly Brothers decided to include it on their album Roots. As a matter of fact, their album Roots was the duo’s first step into penetrating to the country rock world. In addition, the album featured many other country songs including “T for Texas” by Jimmie Rogers, “Less of Me” by Glen Campbell, and Merle Haggard’s “Sing Me Back Home.”

With their silky smooth vocals, The Everly Brothers put a new spin to the pure country vibe that Haggard exuded in his song. While Haggard’s version cannot be compared to the other renditions, The Everly Brothers’ was just as superb as it is in its simplicity.

Watch and relive The Everly Brothers’ version of “Mama Tried:”


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mama tried, merle haggard, The Everly Brothers


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