So I’ve heard hipsters are now collecting tapes. Not to be outdone and to expand on my ever coveted music blogger cred, I present a special cassette edition of Random Records. Now don’t think I’m just pulling out a tape to be pulling one out. No sir, since downgrading my vehicle to a 99 Chevy Corolla to save cash (and gas), I’ve been blessed with a working sweet ass tape deck. First thing I did was go find that old box of tapes from high school and start listening to my old mixtapes. Some interesting things to be found but I won’t get into that here. The point I was trying to make is that I do in fact still listen to tapes, but only in my car, and mostly for nostalgia purposes (and sometimes for convenience).
The tape pictured above is one of my go to tapes. I think it may in fact be my only Merle Haggard tape….not sure on that because I stole a bunch of tapes from my dad when I got my first car….lots of Hank Jr, Waylon, Willie, etc..in those tapes. I love this particular tape here, especially now, because it doesn’t really have any of his big hits on it. That is to say, you are not likely to find any of these songs (except maybe “Making Believe”) on a Merle Haggard greatest hits compilation. Released in 1976 (originally on vinyl I’m guessing), it features the title track “A Working Man Can’t Get Nowhere Today” which is another working man’s anthem akin to “Working Man Blues” and makes a great companion to that song. Also featured on this album is a tribute to Lefty Frizzel called “Goodbye to Lefty” in which all the lyrics are made up of lyrics from Lefty songs. I feel I must also mention the song “I’m A White Boy” which may be the reason this album has never seen a re-release in the overly sensitive CD or digital eras. This song has Merle lamenting that he is just a white boy looking for a place to do his thing, wasn’t born and raised in a ghetto, trying to find him a welfare woman and a line of work that don’t take no diploma (great couplet there). The song is hilarious but I can’t find a digital copy of it to save my soul.
The song I will feature here is one of my all time favorite Merle Haggard songs…”The Running Kind”. Features one of my favorite lines “within me there’s a prison/surrounding me alone/as real as any dungeon with it’s walls of stone”. This song is pretty representative of the style found on most of the album (with the other songs more akin to “Making Believe”). That is to say, there is a lot of hot honky tonk playing on this thing. If anyone has a digital copy, I would love to get copy of it.
Well, I talked about this twice already, but it deserves all the talk it can get. If you missed the Merle Haggard doc on PBS….watch it here. Just click the picture below to go to the site to watch it. Also on the right hand side there are some tasty extras that are well worth watching as well for those who have already seen the documentary.
So I didn’t get a chance to post tonight because I was watching the excellent Doc about Merle Haggard on PBS. In honor, I will point your way towards this post from last November of a killer Merle Haggard show from 1981. Not gonna do a “from the archives” on it because the links are still good, and it’s still pretty fresh. Just want to point it out in case anyone missed it the first time.
well, I feel like 9 kinds of shit right now, but not to let you folks down….I shall persevere. Luckily what I’m posting here is a killer Merle Haggard radio broadcast from 1981 that needs little explanation. All you need to know is it’s Merle Haggard, and it’s killer!
So the other day I was down in my shop/dungeon/secret lair/basement doing a few chores and decided to pull a record at random from the ol’ shelves to listen to. I thought…hey, that would make an interesting recurring feature on the ol’ blog, and what a great way to increase my coveted blogger cred . so here we are. What I plan to do is post a few thoughts on the album and a track from the album.
The record I pulled ended up being Merle Haggard’s 1968 live album Okie From Muskogee.
The fact I pulled a Hag record should come as no surprise to me, as I have a lot of Hag records. This one in particular though is one of my favorites. I like to call it Merle’s “Folsom”. That is a good comparison because much like Cash’s “Folsom” & “San Quentin” twofer, Merle had “Okie” and 1970’s “Fightin’ Side of Me”. Both great live albums that should go together as a pair (much like Cash’s). Okie was recorded live in Muskogee, Oklahoma and features the song the album takes it’s title from. Sadly I don’t think the fine folks of Muskogee realized they were on the butt end of Merle’s very tongue in cheek (and often misunderstood) “Okie From Muskogee”. “Okie”, written from his dad’s perspective about the events of the time (the 60’s man…) became sort of anthem that Haggard never intended. Here are his own words on the subject: “It started out as a joke. We wrote to be satirical originally. But then people latched onto it, and it really turned into this song that looked into the mindset of people so opposite of who and where we were” For my money though the best song on this album is without a doubt “Silver Wings”. This version of the song is in my opinion THE version of “Silver Wings”. So stripped down, just Haggard and the strangers, some of Hag’s most soulful vocals and I just love it when he says to Roy Nichols “Pick it Nichol’s” right before he lays some tasty licks on us. This is without a doubt one of my top 3 Country albums of all time, which is what inspired me to start this recurring feature…..Might as well start it with something REALLY GOOD, call it luck of the draw.
In honor of one of our fallen compadres, it’s a Klassic Kuntry® weekend here at A Truer Sound. So without further delay, I present to you what I consider to be The Hag’s greatest live album.
Recorded in Philidelphia, this album is a great companion piece to the live in Muskogee album from the previous year in much the same way that Johnny Cash’s “Folsom” & “San Quentin” albums are. Standout tracks include his typical hits but specifically the song “Harold’s Super Service” (only available on this album) and the impersonations medley which includes impersonations of Marty Robbins, Hank Snow, Buck Owens, & Johnny Cash. Also worth mentioning is the frantic version of “Fightin’ Side of Me” which has alway been my favorite version.
All right, this site is not about stealin' music, and it's not about stickin' it to the RIAA. It's about me wanting to get the music I love out there and heard. I've said it many times on here, and the fact that some of the talents I showcase on here are largely unknown is a crime. It's a shame what popular radio & music has become when there are so many great artists out there living in obscurity giving it everything they got.
Really folks, if you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy their albums, go to their shows, tell your friends, whatever you gotta do. Most of these are at crappy bitrates anyway.