Legendary singers Merle Haggard and George Jones are undeniably two of the greatest artists that the country music world has ever had. Both have their own illustrious music career records and impressive success stories. So teaming up for a duet record is highly expected to result in a smash hit. And they’ve proven that such couldn’t just be a myth when they decided to collaborate for the first time in 1982. Their initial team up produced the album A Taste of Yesterday’s Wine. The highly acclaimed record listed ten tracks including “Must’ve Been Drunk” and “Yesterday’s Wine.” The latter earned the pair a No. 1 spot on hot country songs chart. Moreover, their debut album entered the Top 10 of Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart where it peaked at No. 4.
Their Top Duet Record: “Yesterday’s Wine”
“Yesterday’s Wine” was an original record of Willie Nelson, a self-penned tune that appeared on his 1971 album of the same name. RCA released it as a single in the fall of 1971. The Redhead Stranger considered the album as one of his best. That’s despite the label’s claim on the song being too eerie and does not merit promotion. Also, others regarded it as one of the singer’s finest compositions. Five years later, when Nelson’s popularity made a sudden explosion, RCA realized its mistake. It was then that they decided to include “Yesterday’s Wine” on the album Wanted! The Outlaws. Given the outlaw theme that the song bears, the label found it fitting for Nelson’s later album.
While the single only reached No. 62 on the country chart, it became a big hit for Nelson’s co-country music artists Haggard and Jones over a decade later. The song likewise gave birth to the name of their first duet LP, A Taste of Yesterday’s Wine. For a week, their song enjoyed the top of the chart and had a ten-week run on the chart.
Listen to Haggard and Jones’ fine interpretation of “Yesterday’s Wine” below.
George Jones, merle haggard, Willie Nelson, yesterday's wine