November 13, 2018

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

The Everly Brothers are known in fusing country and rock’n’roll together. Their capacity to do so led them to be inducted in both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Here, we’ll take a look at how the Everly Brothers combine country and rock music on one of their unique renditions of “Mama Tried.”

The Everly Brother’s Album Roots

In 1968, The Everly Brothers released their sixteenth studio album Roots. On it, they covered country songs and merged them with their rock and roll style of music. Some of the country songs they covered were “Mama Tried,” “Less of Me,” “T for Texas,” “You Done Me Wrong,” and “Sing Me Back Home.” Unfortunately, Roots was not successful in entering the Billboard chart. However, despite the failure of the album, The Everly Brothers still did a great job on recording Merle Haggard’s single.

The Everly Brothers’ Rendition

It has been apparent how The Everly Brothers gave a whole new look on Merle Haggard’s song on their recording. The harmonizing of their vocals and their signature steel-string acoustic guitar added a twist into it. Undeniably, this is one great cover of “Mama Tried.”

“Mama Tried” By Merle Haggard

In 1968, Merle Haggard wrote and recorded “Mama Tried” with his band The Strangers. Haggard’s single tells the story of a young man who caused suffering to his mother. Furthermore, this was partly based on Haggard’s life. However, some parts of the song did not happen to him, such as

“I turned twenty-one in prison doing life without parole.”

Haggard’s recording earned him his fifth number one song on the country chart. In addition, his single won a Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. Rolling Stone ranked “Mama Tried” number eight of the Greatest Country Songs of All Time.

Here’s the original version of “Mama Tried” by Merle Haggard.


mama tried, merle haggard, The Everly Brothers

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