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February 20

Keepin’ Haggard’s Ball Rollin’ in It’s All in the Game

“A Place to Fall Apart” is a duet by American country music artists Merle Haggard and Janie Fricke. The lyrics of the song were from Merle Haggard himself, together with Willie Nelson and Freddy Powers. Released in October 1984, it was the second single from the album It’s All in the Game. “A Place to Fall Apart” was the first ever collaboration of the musicians. For a week, the song occupied the top spot. And for a total of fourteen weeks, it stayed on the country chart.

Fricke repeated her role of background vocalist on two of Merle Haggard’s 1985 singles, “Natural High”, and “A Place to Fall Apart”. Her second duet with Ol’ Merle became a chart topper. In 1986, Fricke released her next album, Black & White. In here, we can listen to her last number-one hit “Always Have, Always Will”. Apart from that, her last top-20 hit “When a Woman Cries” is also on the album. The said track peaked at number 20 in 1986. [PS. We answer how did Billy Nelson die? in this article].

The Album It’s All in the Game

In the album It’s All in the Game, Haggard mostly co-wrote the songs with Freddy Powers. The year 1984 made the country singer’s career boom even more unlike the early seventies. Because of It’s All in the Game, his career continued to roll.

In this album, he was able to produce three number 1s. The first of these was “Let’s Chase Each Other Around the Room”. It made us remember the shuffling rhythm of “Big City”, his 1981 hit. Also, it tells about the narrator trying to teasingly rekindle the passion of his marriage. The other two chart-toppers were “A Place to Fall Apart” and the love song “Natural High”. These tracks have a softer vocal approach more indicative of the album’s overall sound. “Little Hotel Room” and “I Never Go Home Anymore” contain Haggard’s often-used themes of loss, solitude, and separation. The LP also includes his take on the recent Willie Nelson/Julio Iglesias smash “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before” and “You Really Lose Your Mind”. To pay tribute to Ernest Tubb who died in September 1984, he included the two tracks.


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a place to fall apart, Janie Fricke, merle haggard


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