November 29, 2018

Look Back: Merle Haggard’s 1971 Hit “Daddy Frank”

Daddy Frank’s Backstory

“Daddy Frank (The Guitar Man)” is a song that was written and recorded by one of the most talented stars in country music, Merle Haggard and The Strangers. This was the lead single off their 1971 album “Let Me Tell You About a Song.”

“Daddy Frank (The Guitar Man)” was Haggard and The Stranger’s tenth No. 1 song that charted on the Billboard Hot Country Singles. The amazingly catchy tune topped the chart for two weeks straight around the time of Thanksgiving way back in 1971. Also, it spent 13 weeks in the chart’s Top 40.

Listen to the amazing track right here!

In the first place, the male narrator tells a story about a family band. First, his father, Daddy Frank, is blind but is an amazing musician. He can play the French harp and the guitar.  Second, the singer’s sister would play the tambourine, and third, the mother was totally deaf but sang along with the band because she could read lips. The family thrived as a band because it was only their means of living. The song highlights how the parents use their handicaps to lift each other up.

Merle Haggard

Merle Haggard is arguably one of the best musicians to have ever  graced the country music scene. He received many honors and awards for his music, including a Kennedy Center Honor, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, a BMI Icon Award, and inductions into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Country Music Hall of Fame, and Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

Haggard and his band the Strangers helped create the Bakersfield sound – a unique new sound to counter the squeaky clean and traditionalist way of the Nashville sound. The Bakersfield sound is characterized by the twang of Fender Telecaster and the unique blend of traditional country steel guitar sound, a new vocal arrangement, and a rough edge to it that is absent in the Nashville Sound.


Daddy Frank, Let Me Tell You About a Song, merle haggard

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