If we have to enumerate the true legends in country music, Merle Haggard would surely be on the list. While he may no longer be around singing for us, the legacy and the music he left will forever be imprinted in history. In fact, he released a number of no. 1 hits that stormed the charts throughout his entire career. Also, he was proud to admit that he was one of the originals of outlaw country. Let us relive a performance he had when he was still young.
Appearing on The Wagon House for a special number, the young Merle Haggard performed his riotous tune “Okie from Muskogee.” With a lively demeanor and a fresh-faced Haggard, he proudly sang the lines of his iconic hit:
“I’m proud to be an Okie from Muskogee
A place where even squares can have a ball.
We still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse,
And white lightnin’s still the biggest thrill of all.”
“Okie from Muskogee:” The Hit that Started The Hag’s Award Streak
Penned and recorded by Merle Haggard in 1969, “Okie from Muskogee” went on to dominate the country charts marking its spot at no. 1. In addition, it was named the “Single of the Year” at the CMA Awards the following year. Overall, this commenced a streak of massive award wins under the name The Hag.
In retrospect, the country legend got his inspiration writing the iconic song after the protesting of the Vietnam War by young people. Frustrated by the lack of respect for those fighting overseas, Haggard expressed his dismay through this song.
In one of his interviews, he publicly shared some of his views:
“When I was in prison, I knew what it was like to have freedom taken away. Freedom is everything. During Vietnam [War], there were all kinds of protests. Here were these [servicemen] going over there and dying for a cause.”
He then continued:
“These soldiers were giving up their freedom and lives to make sure others could stay free. I wrote the song to support those soldiers.”
Unfortunately, the great country music legend passed away in 2016. We really miss him dearly, but his performances like this will make us remember of how worthy as a legend he was. He will forever be on our music list!
Let us go back in time as we watch the young Merle Haggard perform his hit, “Okie from Muskogee:”
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merle haggard, okie from muskogee