February 20

“The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde” Told by Merle Haggard

“The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde” is a song that American country music artists Merle Haggard and Bonnie Owens composed. Among the two lyricists, Merle was the one who made a cover of it. Released by Capitol in January 1968, it was the first single and title track from the album of the same title. “The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde” gave Haggard his fourth song that ruled the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart in April. For two weeks, it occupied the top spot. Furthermore, it was on the country chart for a total of 14 weeks. [Editor’s Note: one of our top articles is Willie Nelson’s son’s tragic death. Inform yourself here].

“The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde”

Who are Bonnie and Clyde? These famous names came from the legendary characters Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut Barrow a.k.a. “Clyde Champion Barrow”. These two were American criminals who traveled the central United States with their gang during the Great Depression. They notoriously robbed and killed people when cornered or confronted. Their exploits captured the attention of the American public between 1931 and 1935, the “Public Enemy Era”. Though famously known today for their numerous bank robberies, the duo most often preferred to rob small stores or rural gas stations. Many believe that the gang has killed approximately nine police officers and quite a few civilians. The couple was eventually ambushed and killed by law officers near Sailes, Bienville Parish, Louisiana.

From the moment they became known, Bonnie and Clyde have inspired many works: books, plays, songs, musicals, and even fashion lines. Among these, the fatal duo spawned a 1967 cinematic masterwork that revolutionized Hollywood.

Even though “The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde” was Ol’ Hag’s number 1, it was its B-side, “I Started Loving You Again” that became his signature and most covered song.

On the story-song’s propulsive banjo, they featured Glen Campbell.

After his cover, a number of other artists including Tammy Wynette has made their own recording of the track.


Tags

bonnie and clyde, glen campbell, legend, merle haggard


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