No matter where you go or whomever you ask, Merle Haggard will always be considered as one of country music’s greatest singers. He achieved many accolades, performed songs that people loved, and inspired younger generations. Therefore, losing him was a devastating moment in country music.
Before his death, Merle Haggard was able to perform some of his songs. However, one thing that people will never forget was his last performance at the Grand Ole Opry stage on October 17, 2015. Haggard, despite never being a member of the prestigious Grand Ole Opry still gave his performance of a lifetime for the very last time. He performed his singles “Big City,” “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink,” “The Fightin’ Side of Me,” and “Silver Wings.” However, of all the songs he sang that night, it was his single “Silver Wings” that left a mark in everyone’s memory.
Haggard was joined by his son Ben Haggard, who played the guitar, on stage. The arrangement of the music was incredible, especially when each instrument was given a solo performance. In addition, Haggard performed incredibly like he always did.
“Silver Wings” wasn’t released as a single. As such, it didn’t enter the Billboard country chart. It is heartbreaking because many considered this to be one of Haggard’s best compositions. Even Rolling Stone included “Silver Wings” as one of Merle Haggard’s Essential Songs. “Silver Wings” was only released as a track in his tenth studio album, A Portrait of Merle Haggard. If it was released as a single, then it will be another number one for Haggard.
His album though secured a spot on the chart. It reached number three on the Billboard Top Country Albums. In addition, two of his singles (“Hungry Eyes” and “Workin’ Man Blues”) landed the number one position on the chart.