The Making of “That’s the Way Love Goes”

Merle Haggard always knew how to make a great cover of a classic song. “That’s the Way Love Goes” was written in 1973 by the legendary Lefty Frizzell and songwriter Sanger D. Shafer. It was first recorded by Johnny Rodriguez in the same year. The single was part of Rodriguez’s album All I Ever Meant to Do was Sing. Rodriguez took the song to the top of the US charts. In addition, “That’s the Way Love Goes” entered the Canadian chart.

Merle Haggard’s Version

After ten years, Merle Haggard covered the song for his thirty-eighth album, That’s the Way Love Goes. Haggard made the song reach number one on both the US and Canadian chart. On the other hand, the album reached number eight on the US Billboard chart. The song did not only enter the chart, but also Haggard won the Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance in 1984.

merle haggard

Photo Credit: http://merlehaggard.com/gallery.html

Other Recordings

This single has been covered not only by Haggard but by other artists, too. Connie Smith recorded the song in 1974 for her same-titled album. Even the songwriter Lefty Frizzell made a cover of his song. In 1999, Haggard covered the song again, this time he recorded it with Jewel. Their version was released as a single, and it hit Billboard country chart at number fifty-six.

Merle Haggard and Jewel

Jewel and Merle Haggard collaborated to record two songs from Haggard’s album Merle Haggard: For the Record. This album of Haggard contains forty-three songs. In this collection album of Haggard, he re-recorded some of his previous singles with other artists. Some of his guest artists were Willie Nelson, Brooks, and Dunn, Alabama, and more. Jewel and Haggard recorded the singles “Silver Wings” and “That’s the Way Love Goes.”

Watch this live performance of Jewel and Merle Haggard during the 1999 CMA Awards show.