Hag: The Studio Recordings 1969-1976

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Twelve years after they released their first Merle Haggard box, The Untamed Hawk, Bear Family delivered the sequel, Hag: The Studio Recordings 1969-1976. This picks up where The Untamed Hawk left off, which is more of a musical dividing point than it initially seems. If The Untamed Hawk caught Haggard as he was reaching full flight, Hag captures him in his prime, as every single he released reached the Country Top Ten -- often capturing the number one slot -- and as he sometimes crossed over into the pop Top 40. Hag was without a doubt the biggest star in country music but the remarkable thing about his reign at the top was that he never played it safe. During ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Twelve years after they released their first Merle Haggard box, The Untamed Hawk, Bear Family delivered the sequel, Hag: The Studio Recordings 1969-1976. This picks up where The Untamed Hawk left off, which is more of a musical dividing point than it initially seems. If The Untamed Hawk caught Haggard as he was reaching full flight, Hag captures him in his prime, as every single he released reached the Country Top Ten -- often capturing the number one slot -- and as he sometimes crossed over into the pop Top 40. Hag was without a doubt the biggest star in country music but the remarkable thing about his reign at the top was that he never played it safe. During this eight-year span, he recorded few songs as iconic as "Strangers," "Swinging Doors," "The Bottle Let Me Down" or "Mama Tried," but a notable exception was "Okie from Muskogee" and its ornery cousin, "The Fighting Side of Me." Both were reactionary rhetoric in the midst of the Vietnam war, but where the latter was itching for a brawl -- a perfect pairing for its tough, twangy, Bakersfield sound -- "Okie" was gentler in its music and sweetly nostalgic in its tone, romanticizing an America that may never have been there. As Hag makes clear, "Okie" provides the keystone for the last half of Haggard's Capitol recordings, as his music mellowed and deepened, and he turned toward painting a picture of his ideal America, knowing full well that the good times may already be over. The music feels different than that on Untamed Hawk -- it's not as lean and tense, not as indebted to Buck. It's warmer yet more adventurous and far-ranging, at once referencing the past but sounding progressive, sounding smoother, but never turning pop. Haggard's writing also underwent a subtle evolution, as he developed a narrative eye that had songs like "Tulare Dust" and "The Seashores of Old Mexico" play like short stories. With their spare, vivid lyrical detail, these songs created a mythic image of America that the music matched with its blend of country, folk, blues, and jazz, so thoroughly integrated it was often impossible to discern where the styles began...unless it was on the genre exercises that Hag and the Strangers tore into with thrilling abandon. Merle wrote a bunch of these himself, notably the spectacular Western swing of "Living with the Shades Pulled Down" and "Old Man from the Mountain," songs that illustrated his debt to Lefty Frizzell and Bob Wills. It's possible to hear the influence of his idols here but all of Hag's full-length tributes, such as his timeless Wills and Jimmie Rodgers salutes, aren't here -- they, along with the Strangers albums, are bundled on a third Bear Family box, out in 2008 -- but his knack for finding great material is wholly evident, whether he's cutting his old friend Tommy Collins' "Carolyn" or cherry-picking Dolly Parton's "Kentucky Gambler." Much of this variety can be heard on the many, many individual albums Haggard released during the first half of the '70s -- most of the best of which have been reissued on CD, including great two-fers from both Capitol and BGO -- but hearing it all in this six CD box, the depth and consistency of his music is stunning. Perhaps there are no revelations here aside from the political -- almost immediately after "Okie from Muskogee" became a smash, he began recording songs that backed away from the curmudgeonly conservative bent of that hit, explaining that he's in the divide between the left and right, returning to that sentiment again and again during this stretch at Capitol -- yet there doesn't need to be, as Hag offers the richest, fullest portrait of Merle's America, a world that only grows more alluring with each passing year.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/17/2007
  • Label: Imports
  • EAN: 4000127167491
  • Catalog Number: 2716749
  • Sales rank: 72,321


Disc 1
  1. 1 I'd Rather Be Gone (2:35)
  2. 2 Montego Bay (2:54)
  3. 3 I Die Ten Thousand Times a Day (3:03)
  4. 4 California on My Mind (2:39)
  5. 5 California Cotton Fields (2:47)
  6. 6 White Line Fever (2:47)
  7. 7 I Came So Close to Failure (2:50)
  8. 8 Workin' Man Blues (2:34)
  9. 9 The Sea Shores of Old Mexico (3:42)
  10. 10 Okie from Muskogee (2:43)
  11. 11 If I Had Left It Up to You (2:57)
  12. 12 Streets of Berlin (2:49)
  13. 13 Huntsville (3:07)
  14. 14 Train of Life (2:42)
  15. 15 They're Tearing the Labor Camp Down (2:11)
  16. 16 The Fightin' Side of Me (2:53)
  17. 17 I Wonder What She'll Think About Me Leaving (3:19)
  18. 18 No Reason to Quit (2:36)
  19. 19 Jesus, Take a Hold (2:17)
  20. 20 I Ain't Got Nobody (2:10)
  21. 21 New York City Blues (2:36)
  22. 22 One Row at a Time (3:07)
  23. 23 Shelly's Winter Love (3:22)
  24. 24 I'll Be a Hero When I Strike (2:02)
  25. 25 If You've Got Time (To Say Goodbye) (2:52)
  26. 26 I'm a Good Loser (2:40)
  27. 27 I Can't Be Myself (2:52)
  28. 28 I've Done It All (2:14)
  29. 29 One Sweet Hello (2:46)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Worried, Unhappy, Lonesome and Sorry (2:45)
  2. 2 Somewhere in Between (2:27)
  3. 3 The Sidewalks of Chicago (2:30)
  4. 4 The Farmer's Daughter (2:56)
  5. 5 Tulare Dust (1:48)
  6. 6 When the Feelin' Goes Away (2:55)
  7. 7 Soldier's Last Letter (2:11)
  8. 8 The Only Trouble with Me (3:10)
  9. 9 Make Believe (3:02)
  10. 10 Big Time Annie's Square (2:34)
  11. 11 You're the Only Girl in the Game (2:55)
  12. 12 The Conversion of Ronnie Jones (2:45)
  13. 13 Carolyn (2:33)
  14. 14 It's Great to Be Alive (2:18)
  15. 15 Someday We'll Look Back (2:30)
  16. 16 Somewhere in Between (2:28)
  17. 17 My Heart Would Know (2:49)
  18. 18 Daddy Frank (The Guitar Man) (3:19)
  19. 19 Goodbye Comes Hard for Me (2:42)
  20. 20 The Man Who Picked the Wildwood Flower (3:24)
  21. 21 You Don't Love Me (But I'll Always Care) (3:19)
  22. 22 This Cold War with You (2:56)
  23. 23 Irma Jackson (2:55)
  24. 24 Recitation: The Proudest Fiddle in the World (A Maiden's Prayer) (2:20)
  25. 25 Turnin' off a Memory (2:46)
  26. 26 Grandma Harp (3:08)
Disc 3
  1. 1 They're Tearin' the Labor Camps Down (3:29)
  2. 2 Bill Woods from Bakersfield (3:12)
  3. 3 Old Doc Brown (3:25)
  4. 4 A Shoulder to Cry On (3:01)
  5. 5 The Funeral (3:17)
  6. 6 Bring It on Down to My House, Honey (2:51)
  7. 7 Combine Blues (2:29)
  8. 8 Blues Stay Away from Me (2:16)
  9. 9 Tired of Your Understanding Ways (2:20)
  10. 10 Hag's Dixie Blues #2 (2:51)
  11. 11 I Ain't Got Nobody (And Nobody Cares for Me) (2:42)
  12. 12 Moanin' the Blues (2:05)
  13. 13 Don't Let the Deal Go Down (2:23)
  14. 14 Stingeree (4:04)
  15. 15 Lovesick Blues (2:36)
  16. 16 Blues for Dixie (2:39)
  17. 17 I Forget You Every Day (2:51)
  18. 18 A Shoulder to Cry On (3:10)
  19. 19 I Know an Ending When It Comes (3:10)
  20. 20 Dad's Old Fiddle (2:51)
  21. 21 I'm a White Boy (2:03)
  22. 22 I Wonder Where I'll Find You at Tonight (2:08)
  23. 23 My Woman Keeps Lovin' Her Man (2:33)
  24. 24 It's Not Love (But It's Not Bad) (3:20)
  25. 25 Somewhere to Come When It Rains (2:57)
  26. 26 My Woman Keeps Lovin' Her Man (2:42)
Disc 4
  1. 1 I Wonder If They Ever Think of Me (3:03)
  2. 2 To Each His Own (2:28)
  3. 3 I Wonder What She'll Think About Me Leaving (3:11)
  4. 4 I'm an Old, Old Man (Tryin' to Live While I Can) (2:32)
  5. 5 I'd Never Told on You (3:01)
  6. 6 I Wonder If They Ever Think of Me (2:50)
  7. 7 I Forget You Every Day (3:10)
  8. 8 Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now) (2:46)
  9. 9 If We Make It Through December (2:42)
  10. 10 I'll Break out Tonight (2:52)
  11. 11 Love and Honor Never Crossed Your Mind (2:50)
  12. 12 This Is the Song We Sing (2:46)
  13. 13 There's Just One Way (2:51)
  14. 14 The Emptiest Arms in the World (2:53)
  15. 15 Come on into My Arms (2:43)
  16. 16 Radiator Man from Wasco (2:05)
  17. 17 Uncle Lem (2:56)
  18. 18 Daddy Won't Be Home Again for Christmas (3:04)
  19. 19 Bobby Wants a Puppy for Christmas (2:13)
  20. 20 Silent Night (2:29)
  21. 21 Winter Wonderland (2:31)
  22. 22 White Christmas (2:28)
  23. 23 Silver Bells (3:21)
  24. 24 Jingle Bells (2:21)
  25. 25 Grandma's Homemade Christmas Card (1:51)
  26. 26 Santa Claus and Popcorn (2:14)
Disc 5
  1. 1 White Man Singin' the Blues (1:57)
  2. 2 Better off When I Was Hungry (2:25)
  3. 3 Things Aren't Funny Anymore (2:43)
  4. 4 That's the Way Love Goes (2:34)
  5. 5 Got a Leter from My Kid Today (2:29)
  6. 6 Honky Tonk Night Time Man (2:38)
  7. 7 A Man's Got to Give Up a Lot (2:34)
  8. 8 The Girl Who Made Me Laugh (2:40)
  9. 9 No More Trains to Ride (3:12)
  10. 10 Holding Things Together (2:59)
  11. 11 So Long Train Whistle (4:08)
  12. 12 September in Miami (2:38)
  13. 13 A King Without a Queen (2:43)
  14. 14 It Don't Bother Me (2:27)
  15. 15 Travelin' (2:09)
  16. 16 Don't Give Up on Me (2:22)
  17. 17 Here in 'Frisco (2:30)
  18. 18 Railroad Lady (2:53)
  19. 19 Old Man from the Mountain (2:20)
  20. 20 Mirrors Don't Lie (3:05)
  21. 21 Movin' On (2:15)
  22. 22 The Seeker (2:52)
  23. 23 Kentucky Gambler (2:41)
  24. 24 You'll Always Be Special to Me (2:33)
  25. 25 Life's Like Poetry (2:32)
  26. 26 I've Got a Darlin' (For a Wife) (2:46)
  27. 27 These Mem'ries We're Making Tonight (3:04)
  28. 28 The Hobo (2:42)
  29. 29 The Coming and the Going of the Trains (4:19)
  30. 30 My Love Affair with Trains (3:12)
  31. 31 The Silver Ghost (3:20)
Disc 6
  1. 1 Where Have All the Hobos Gone (3:25)
  2. 2 I Won't Give Up My Train (3:30)
  3. 3 Union Station (4:14)
  4. 4 When My Last Song Is Sung (1:59)
  5. 5 I've Got a Yearning (3:31)
  6. 6 Always Wanting You (3:06)
  7. 7 Nothin's Worse Than Losing (2:59)
  8. 8 Colorado (3:28)
  9. 9 The Roots of My Raising (2:45)
  10. 10 Living with the Shades Pulled Down (2:55)
  11. 11 After Loving You (3:10)
  12. 12 Cotton Patch Blues (2:56)
  13. 13 Runnin' Kind (3:03)
  14. 14 Walk on the Outside (3:40)
  15. 15 Let's Stop Pretending (Dirty Old Hat Band) (3:04)
  16. 16 Right or Wrong (4:13)
  17. 17 It's All in the Movies (3:14)
  18. 18 The Way It Was in '51 (3:21)
  19. 19 Goodbye Lefty (2:40)
  20. 20 I Never Go Around Mirrors (2:44)
  21. 21 Am I Standing in Your Way? (2:55)
  22. 22 A Working Man Can't Get Nowhere Today (2:56)
  23. 23 The Waltz You Saved for Me (2:22)
  24. 24 Cherokee Maiden (2:57)
  25. 25 What Have You Got Planned Tonight, Diana (3:07)
  26. 26 Here Comes the Freedom Train (3:40)
  27. 27 Campaign of '76 (3:07)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Merle Haggard Primary Artist, Fiddle, Guitar, Leader, Vocals, Narrator, Interviewee
The Carter Family Vocals
Johnny Gimble Fiddle, Guitar, Interviewee
Dolly Parton Vocals
Johnnie Lee Wills Banjo
James Burton Dobro, Electric Guitar, Interviewee
Stan Farlow Track Performer
David Gates Guitar, Leader
Jim Glaser Choir, Chorus
Chubby Wise Fiddle
Anita Carter Vocals
Gordon Terry Fiddle
Martin Katahn Violin
Jim Gordon Drums
Red Simpson Interviewee
Mother Maybelle Carter Vocals
Biff Adam Drums, Leader, Interviewee
Byron Bach Violin
Earl Poole Ball Piano
Chuck Berghofer Bass
Roy Edward Burris Drums
Roy Caton Trumpet
Glen D. Hardin Piano, Leader
Dolores Edgin Choir, Chorus
Virgil Evans Trumpet
Sam Goldstein Drums
Carl Gorodetzky Violin
Norm Hamlet Dobro, Steel Guitar, Leader, Interviewee
Buddy Harman Drums
Herman Harper Vocals
Glenn Keener Guitar
Don Markham Saxophone
Laverna Moore Choir, Chorus
Tommy Morgan Harmonica
Bonnie Owens Leader, Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Jody Payne Guitar
Ronnie Reno Guitar, Vocals
Hargus "Pig" Robbins Piano, Keyboards
Jerry Rosa Trombone
Moe Schneider Trombone
Jerry Shook Guitar
Ray Siegel Bass
Gordon Stoker Choir, Chorus
Henry Strzelecki Bass
Gary VanOsdale Viola
David Vanderkooi Cello
Redd Volkaert Interviewee
Jerry Whitehurst Piano
John C. Williams Bass
Joe Zinkan Bass
Roy Huskey Jr. Bass
Steve Pierce Choir Director
William Puett Clarinet, Horn, Tenor Saxophone
Dennis Hromek Bass, Leader, Vocals
William Armstrong Fiddle
Leon Chase Copeland Bass, Leader
Helen Carter Vocals
Jerry Reed Hubbard Guitar
Gene Price Bass
James Capps Guitar
Bobby Wayne Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Leader, Vocal Harmony
William Edward "Billy" Liebert Piano
George French Jr. Piano, Leader
Robert C. Thompson Guitar
Bill Walker Leader
Richard Farrell Morris Chimes, Drums, Bells, Vibes
Joseph T. Babcock Choir, Chorus
Harold Lee "Curly" Chalker Steel Guitar
June Evelyn Page Choir, Chorus
Ronald James "Jim" Horn Saxophone
Albert "Al Bruno" Bruneau Guitar
Jerry "Chip Young" Stembridge Guitar
James Holley Fiddle
William Ellsworth "Alex" Brashear Trumpet
Hollis R. "Red Lane" DeLaughter Guitar
David Carroll Kirby Guitar
Johnny Meeks Bass, Leader
Tommy Ash Drums
Jerry Atembridge Track Performer
Dorothy Deleonnibus Choir, Chorus
Dixieland Express Track Performer
James Paul Haber Track Performer
J.L. Hicks Track Performer
Technical Credits
Little Jimmy Dickens Composer
Lefty Frizzell Composer
Merle Haggard Composer, Author
Dolly Parton Composer
Floyd Tillman Composer
Irving Berlin Composer
Irving Mills Composer
Tommy Collins Composer
Leon Payne Composer
Cindy Walker Composer
Red Simpson Composer
Earl Poole Ball Producer
Hank Cochran Composer
Cliff Friend Composer
Henry Glover Composer
Frank Jones Producer
Dave Kirby Composer
John McCormick Contributor
Roy Nichols Composer
A.L. Owens Composer
Wayne Raney Composer
Ronnie Reno Composer
George Richey Producer
Sanger D. Schafer Composer
Bob Wills Composer
Mark Yeary Composer
Deke Dickerson Biographical Notes
Fuzzy Owen Composer
Dale Hampton Contributor
Marcia Nichols Composer
Alton Delmore Composer
Sterling Whipple Composer
Jimmy Work Composer
Gene Bowen Contributor
R.A. Andreas Illustrations
Richard Weize Reissue Producer, Tape Research
Eddie Burris Composer
Jurgen Crasser Mastering
Holger Von Bargen Art Direction
Stephen H. Lemberg Composer
Lou Wayne Composer
Wolfgang Taubenauer Artwork
Traditional Composer
Bill Walker Arranger
Erich H├╝lsenbeck Photo Scanning
Dean Holloway Composer
Andreas Merck Photo Scanning
O.W. Mayo Composer
Glenn Martin Composer
Kenneth Hunt Composer
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