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Untamed Hawk: The Early Recordings of Merle Haggard

Untamed Hawk: The Early Recordings of Merle Haggard

by Merle Haggard
The thing that makes Bear Family's Untamed Hawk a little difficult to listen to for pleasure is the very reason it's necessary for serious Merle Haggard fans and collectors: Over the course of five discs, it contains all of the Capitol recordings (plus his early work for Talley) between 1962 and 1968, including alternate takes and unreleased cuts. This is a


The thing that makes Bear Family's Untamed Hawk a little difficult to listen to for pleasure is the very reason it's necessary for serious Merle Haggard fans and collectors: Over the course of five discs, it contains all of the Capitol recordings (plus his early work for Talley) between 1962 and 1968, including alternate takes and unreleased cuts. This is a bonanza, since from the outset, Haggard was one of the most reliable of all country singers, turning out consistently enjoyable work due to his terrific ear for material and excellent songwriting and performances. He certainly did record a few duds, or at least unrealized tracks, during this time, but those are fascinating in context (either on the original albums or in this box set). Yet the consistency is rather remarkable; the singles are usually the standouts, but there are many tracks nearly as compelling as well. This is all apparent on the original albums as well as Untamed Hawk, but the box set may not be the best way to hear this music, largely because of the sequencing. Like many Bear Family boxes (or at least their sets from the '80s through the mid-'90s), this places chronological order before listenability, as it presents everything in session order -- which means that the alternate takes and false starts slow the momentum of the sessions. This is a problem, but it is one that can be avoided through judicious use of CD programming (or at least the fast-forward button), but it does also point out that this set is more for the historian than the casual listener. That said, those listeners who want a complete set of Merle Haggard's groundbreaking '60s recordings will certainly not be disappointed with this, particularly because many of these songs are not easily available on CD, even with the straight-up reissues of his '60s albums. And, frankly, if you love Merle Haggard, it is worth investing in this set. His music may have grown richer in the years after this set, but even at the outset, he was one of the most inventive, interesting, enjoyable, and flat-out wonderful country artists of his time, and it's all worth hearing, from the singles to the album tracks to the cuts that never were aired before this set. Even if not everything here is perfect, the overall effect is pretty awe-inspiring all the same.

Product Details

Release Date:
Bear Family


Disc 1

  1. Sing a Sad Song
  2. You Don't Even Try
  3. Life in Prison (False Start)
  4. Life in Prison
  5. You Don't Have Very Far to Go
  6. Sam Hill
  7. Sam Hill
  8. Please Mr. D.J.
  9. I'd Trade All of My Tomorrows (For Just One Yesterday)
  10. (My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers
  11. Slowly But Surely
  12. Just Between the Two of Us
  13. So Much for Me So Much for You
  14. Falling for You
  15. I Wanta Live Again
  16. A House Without Love Is Not a Home
  17. Walking the Floor Over You
  18. The Worst Is Yet to Come
  19. Piedras Negras (Go Home)
  20. Singin' My Heart Out
  21. Skid Row
  22. Falling for You
  23. I'd Trade All of My Tomorrows (For Just One Yesterday) [Without String
  24. If I Had Left It Up to You
  25. I'm Gonna Break Every Heart I Can
  26. Stranger in My Arms
  27. If I Could Be Him
  28. Shade Tree (Fix-It-Man)
  29. This Town's Not Big Enough

Disc 2

  1. I'll Take a Chance on Loving You
  2. Our Hearts Are Holding Hands
  3. Too Used to Being With You
  4. That Makes Two of Us
  5. Forever and Ever
  6. Wait a Little Longer Please Jesus
  7. Swinging Doors
  8. Swinging Doors
  9. The Girl Turned Ripe
  10. I Threw Away the Rose
  11. The Fugitive
  12. Loneliness Is Eating Me Alive
  13. Someone Told My Story
  14. I Threw Away the Rose
  15. Hang Up My Gloves
  16. The Longer You Wait
  17. The Bottle Let Me Down
  18. I Can't Stand Me
  19. Someone Else You've Known
  20. High on a Hilltop
  21. I'll Look Over You
  22. No More You and Me
  23. Mixed Up Mess of a Heart
  24. I'm a Lonesome Fugitive
  25. Life in Prison
  26. House of Memories
  27. All of Me Belongs to You

Disc 3

  1. Mary's Mine
  2. If You Want to Be My Woman
  3. Someone Told My Story
  4. Piedras Negras (Go Home)
  5. Whatever Happened to Me
  6. Loneliness Is Eating Me Alive
  7. Skid Row
  8. Drink Up and Be Somebody
  9. Gone Crazy
  10. I Threw Away the Rose
  11. Some of Us Never Learn
  12. Branded Man
  13. You Don't Have Very Far to Go
  14. Wine Take Me Away
  15. If You See My Baby
  16. Somewhere Between
  17. Don't Get Married
  18. My Hands Are Tied
  19. I Made the Prison Band
  20. Look Over Me
  21. Long Black Limousine
  22. I'll Leave the Bottle on the Bar
  23. Sing Me Back Home
  24. The Son of Hickory Holler's Tramp
  25. Seeing Eye Dog
  26. Will You Visit Me on Sundays?
  27. Home Is Where a Kid Grows Up

Disc 4

  1. Where Does the Good Times Go
  2. Good Times
  3. News Break
  4. My Past Is Present
  5. Mom and Dad's Waltz
  6. My Ramona
  7. Because You Can't Be Mine
  8. The Train Never Stops (At Our Town)
  9. You Still Have a Place in My Heart
  10. Money Tree
  11. A Picture from Two Sides of Life
  12. The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde
  13. I Started Loving You Again
  14. Love Has a Mind of Its Own
  15. Fool's Castle
  16. Is This the Beginning of the End?
  17. The Sunny Side of My Life
  18. Run 'Em Off
  19. I'll Always Know
  20. You'll Never Love Me Now
  21. Mama Tried
  22. In the Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad)
  23. Little Ole Wine Drinker Me
  24. Teach Me to Forget
  25. Lookin' for My Mind
  26. Lookin' for My Mind
  27. Lookin' for My Mind

Disc 5

  1. Green, Green Grass of Home
  2. I Could Have Gone Right
  3. The Day the Rains Came
  4. I Think We're Livin' in the Good Old Days
  5. Somewhere on Skid Row
  6. Who Do I Know in Dallas
  7. Folsom Prison Blues
  8. Too Many Bridges to Cross Over
  9. You're Not Home Yet
  10. I Take a Lot of Pride in What I Am
  11. I Just Want to Look at You One More Time
  12. I'm Bringin' Home Good News
  13. Keep Me from Cryin' Today
  14. I Can't Hold Myself in Line
  15. I'm Free
  16. It Meant Goodbye to Me When You Said Hello to Him
  17. Who'll Buy the Wine
  18. She Thinks I Still Care
  19. What's Wrong With Stayin' Home
  20. When No Flowers Grow
  21. Every Fool Has a Rainbow
  22. Hungry Eyes
  23. Silver Wings

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Merle Haggard   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Glen Campbell   Vocals
James Burton   Dobro,Electric Guitar
Phil Baugh   Guitar
Roy Edward Burris   Drums
Jack Collier   Guitar
Glen D. Hardin   Piano
Ralph Mooney   Steel Guitar
Bob Morris   Bass
Roy Nichols   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Loulie Jean Norman   Vocals
Bonnie Owens   Vocals,Track Performer
Lewis Talley   Guitar
Roy Huskey   Bass
Jerry Ward   Bass
Bobby Austin   Bass
Helen "Peaches" Price   Drums
Robert Zwirn   Vocals
Bert Dodson   Bass
Gene Moles   Guitar
Randall Shepard   Vocals
Betty Jane Baker   Vocals
Joe Simpson   Guitar
Leonard Raymond Sipes   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
James Ellington   Piano
George French   Piano

Technical Credits

Merle Haggard   Composer
Buck Owens   Composer
Onie Wheeler   Composer
Casey Anderson   Composer
Tommy Collins   Composer
Red Simpson   Composer
Larry Brown   Composer
Jenny Carson   Composer
Dallas Frazier   Composer
Tommy "Snuff" Garrett   Composer
Bob Gaudio   Composer
Ken Nelson   Producer
Bonnie Owens   Composer
Wynn Stewart   Composer
Hank Williams   Composer
Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys   Composer
Brad Benedict   Illustrations
Marvin Hughes   Producer
Fuzzy Owen   Composer,Producer
Liz Anderson   Composer
Merle Haggard & the Strangers   Composer
Patrick Milligan   Illustrations
Jim Schumacher   Tape Research
Dale Vinicur   Liner Notes
R.A. Andreas   Illustrations
Richard Weize   Reissue Producer,Tape Research
Dickey Lee Lipscomb   Composer
Joe Simpson   Composer
Chester Smith   Composer
Ernie Freeman Combo   String Arrangements
Hank Mills   Composer
Dick Jennings   Composer
Tony Lee   Composer
Dean Holloway   Composer
Hazel Marie Spencer   Composer
Frazier   Composer
J. Saunders   Composer

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