Merle Haggard Tribute Album Gets Release Date

Merle Haggard
Myriam Santos

Broken Bow Records -- a label that has gained a reputation in Music City for their unique and trend setting ways of doing things -- will soon be paying tribute to a country music legend who has done things in his own trailblazing way for over five decades, Merle Haggard.

On April 1, the label will release "Working Man’s Poet: A Tribute To Merle Haggard," a collection of Haggard songs by artists such as Joe Nichols, Randy Houser, Luke Bryan, Toby Keith, and Dierks Bentley. The set combines '60s Haggard staples such as “Mama Tried” and “I’m A Lonesome Fugitive” with latter day hits such as “Going Where The Lonely Go” and “Pancho and Lefty,” which pairs Bryan with Bentley. 

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One noteworthy cut is Joe Nichols’ take on the deep catalog Haggard track “Footlights.” The singer recorded the song for his current album "Crickets," and spoke last September of the song’s importance to him.

“For me, that’s a personal moment that my dad would love. It’s also a tribute to Merle Haggard -- who taught me how to sing. It’s my favorite song of his, and I’ve always wanted to cut it.” Nichols also contributed a take on “My Favorite Memory,” a No. 1 hit for Haggard from 1981. Haggard’s fellow Country Music Hall of Fame member, Garth Brooks, appears on a Walmart-exclusive edition of the disc with a take on “Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down.”

The album release coincides with today’s announcement that Haggard would be honored with the Crystal Milestone Award at the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards to commemorate Haggard’s prolific 50 years in country music. The singer has quite the history with the ACM, being named Top New Male Vocalist in 1965, and the organization’s first Entertainer of the Year in 1970, and has topped the Billboard country singles chart 38 times during his career between 1966 and 1988. 

Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard Working on Album

The ceremony, which will be co-hosted by Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton, is produced for television by dick clark productions and will be broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Sunday, April 6 (8:00 PM-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network. 

A track listing of "Working Man’s Poet: A Tribute To Merle Haggard" is below: 

1. "Misery And Gin" (performed by Randy Houser)
2. "Footlights" (performed by Joe Nichols)
3. "Going Where The Lonely Go" (performed by Jason Aldean)
4. "Today I Started Loving You Again" (performed by Kristy Lee Cook)
5. "Carolyn" (performed by Toby Keith)
6. "Pancho And Lefty" (performed by Luke Bryan & Dierks Bentley)
7. "Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down" (* performed by Garth Brooks) 
8. "You Take Me For Granted" (performed by Thompson Square)
9. "Mama Tried" (performed by Ben Haggard)
10. "That’s The Way Love Goes" (performed by Dustin Lynch)
11. "Make Up and Faded Blue Jeans" (performed by Jake Owen)
12. "I’m A Lonesome Fugitive" (performed by James Wesley)
13. "Workin’ Man Blues" (performed by Parmalee)
14. "Are The Good Times Really Over" (performed by Jason Aldean)
15. "Let’s Chase Each Other Around The Room" (performed by Thompson Square)
16. "I Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Drink" (performed by Dustin Lynch)
17. "The Fightin’ Side Of Me" (performed by James Wesley)
18. "My Favorite Memory" (performed by Joe Nichols)
19. "Ramblin’ Fever" (performed by Randy Houser)
20. "Sing Me Back Home" (performed by Ben Haggard)

*Appears only on Walmart exclusive