Hag: The Capitol Recordings 1968-1976 - Concepts, Live & the Strangers

Hag: The Capitol Recordings 1968-1976 - Concepts, Live & the Strangers

by Merle HaggardMerle Haggard


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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.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/26/2013
Label: Bear Family Germany
UPC: 4000127167828
catalogNumber: 2716782
Rank: 82260


Disc 1

  1. Jimmie the Kid
  2. My Rough and Rowdy Ways
  3. California Blues (Blue Yodel #4)
  4. Narration #1
  5. Hobo's Meditation
  6. Waitin' for a Train
  7. Mother, The Queen of My Heart
  8. My California Sunshine Girl
  9. Narration #2 (Train Whistle Blues)
  10. Train Whistle Blues
  11. Why Should I Be Lonely?
  12. Jimmie's Texas Blues
  13. Blue Yodel #6
  14. Narration #3 (Mule Skinner Blues)
  15. Mule Skinner Blues (Blue Yodel #8)
  16. Peach Pickin' Time Down in Georgia
  17. Down the Old Road to Home
  18. Travelin' Blues
  19. Miss the Mississippi and You
  20. Frankie and Johnny
  21. No Hard Times
  22. Narration #4 (Hobo Bill's Last Ride)
  23. Hobo Bill's Last Ride
  24. My Old Pal
  25. Nobody Knows But Me
  26. Narration #5 (Jimmie's Last Blue Yodel)
  27. Jimmie's Roger's Last Blue Yodel
  28. Mississippi Delta Blues
  29. Gamblin' Polka Dot Blues

Disc 2

  1. Right or Wrong
  2. Brown Skinned Gal
  3. Roly Poly
  4. Corrine, Corrina
  5. I Knew the Moment I Lost You
  6. Trouble in Mind
  7. Time Changes Everything
  8. San Antonio Rose
  9. Brain Cloudy Blues
  10. Take Me Back to Tulsa
  11. Spanish Two-Step
  12. Old Fashioned Love in My Heart
  13. Stay a Little Longer
  14. Misery
  15. Overture, Introduction & Theme
  16. Mama Tried
  17. No Hard Times
  18. Silver Wings
  19. Medley: Swinging Doors/Sing Me Back Home/I'm a Lonesome Fugitive/Brande
  20. In the Arms of Love
  21. Workin' Man Blues
  22. Introduction to 'Hobo Bill'
  23. Hobo Bill's Last Ride
  24. Billy Overcame His Size
  25. If I Had Left It Up to You
  26. White Line Fever
  27. Blue Rock
  28. Intro & Okie from Muskogee

Disc 3

  1. Hammin' It Up (Theme)
  2. I Take a Lot of Pride in What I Am
  3. Corrine, Corrina
  4. Every Fool Has a Rainbow
  5. T.B. Blues
  6. When Did Right Become Wrong
  7. Philadelphia Lawyer (Bonnie Owens)
  8. Stealin' Corn
  9. Harold's Super Service
  10. Medley: Devil Woman/I'm Movin' On/Folsom Prison Blues/Jackson/Orange Bl
  11. Today I Started Loving You Again
  12. Okie from Muskogee
  13. The Fightin' Side of Me
  14. Hammin' It Up
  15. Everybody's Had the Blues
  16. Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now)
  17. I Forgot You Every Day
  18. I Ain't Got Nobody (And Nobody Cares for Me)
  19. Carolyn
  20. Champagne
  21. Lovesick Blues
  22. The Emptiest Arms in the World
  23. Nobody Knows I'm Hurtin'
  24. Way Down Yonder in New Orleans (Intro)
  25. Way Down Yonder in New Orleans
  26. Okie from Muskogee
  27. I Wonder If They Ever Think of Me
  28. Finale

Disc 4

  1. Introduction/We'll Understand and Say Well Done
  2. Medley: Take My Hand, Precious Lord/Jesus Hold My Hand [Medley]
  3. Precious Memories
  4. History of Big Creek Baptist Church
  5. Turn Your Radio On
  6. If We Never Meet Again
  7. Closing Prayer/Just as I Am
  8. Introduction & Opening Prayer
  9. Amazing Grace
  10. Where Could I Go
  11. Old Time Religion/Pass Me By/Sweet By and By [Medley]
  12. The Old Rugged Cross
  13. Closing Prayer
  14. Introduction/Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
  15. Guid Me, Lord
  16. The Family Bible
  17. I'll Be List'ning
  18. Just a Closer Walk with Thee
  19. Closing Prayer
  20. Introduction
  21. Life's Railway to Heaven
  22. On the Jericho Road
  23. Steal Away
  24. I Saw the Light
  25. Grandma's Homemade Christmas Card
  26. Santa Claus and Popcorn

Disc 5

  1. Leaving Phoenix
  2. Terri
  3. Hammin' It Up
  4. San Antonio Rose
  5. Somebody Stole My Gal
  6. Hop and a Skip
  7. Don't Tell Me
  8. Whooper Snooper
  9. Poppin' Corn
  10. The Waltz of Enchantment
  11. Tennessee Flat Top Box
  12. Mama Tried
  13. Stealin' Corn
  14. Twinkle, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
  15. Blue Rock
  16. Mexican Rose
  17. Waltzing with a Stranger
  18. Sing Me a Happy Song
  19. Repeat Performance
  20. Street Singer
  21. Biff Bam Boom
  22. Workin' Man Blues
  23. Day Happy
  24. Every Fool Has a Rainbow
  25. Story with a Happy Indian
  26. Scramble
  27. California on My Mind
  28. Comin' Home
  29. Walkin' Through My Heart
  30. Skippin'
  31. Ham Boogie (Stealin' the Boogie)
  32. Caravan

Disc 6

  1. Stumbling
  2. Me and Bobby McGee
  3. Honky Tonk
  4. Raunchy
  5. Song from "Sleep Walk"
  6. Watchin' Scotty Grow
  7. Just Sit Down and Cry
  8. Slow 'N' Easy
  9. I Don't Love Nobody
  10. Almost to Tulsa
  11. Fiddle Blues
  12. Champagne
  13. Somewhere Over the Rainbow
  14. Goes Without Saying
  15. Swing High
  16. Somewhere Over the Rainbow
  17. When My Conscience Takes Over
  18. When the Roses Die
  19. Champagne
  20. I'm Sittin' on Top of the World
  21. There You Go Again
  22. See the Sunset
  23. Roller Coaster
  24. Cotton Picker
  25. It's Only Love
  26. Cherokee Fiddle
  27. Country Gas

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Merle Haggard   Primary Artist,Fiddle,Guitar,Leader,Vocals,Narrator
Carter Family   Vocals
Johnny Gimble   Fiddle,Guitar
Johnnie Lee Wills   Banjo
James Burton   Dobro,Guitar,Electric Guitar,Leader
Stan Farlow   Track Performer
David Gates   Guitar,Leader
Tommy Collins   Guitar
Chubby Wise   Fiddle
Anita Carter   Vocals
Gordon Terry   Fiddle
Mother Maybelle Carter   Vocals
Bill Woods   Fiddle
Biff Adam   Drums,Leader
Earl Poole Ball   Piano
Roy Edward Burris   Drums
Roy Caton   Trumpet
Glen D. Hardin   Piano
Dolores Edgin   Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Virgil Evans   Trumpet
Sam Goldstein   Drums
Herman Harper   Vocals
Roy M. "Junior" Husky   Bass
John McCormick   Track Performer
Tommy Morgan   Harmonica
Roy Nichols   Guitar,Harmonica,Electric Guitar
Charles Owen   Guitar,Leader
Bonnie Owens   Vocals
Ray Pohlman   Electric Bass
Hargus "Pig" Robbins   Piano
Jerry Rosa   Trombone
Moe Schneider   Trombone
Eldon Shamblin   Guitar
Ray Siegel   Bass
Lewis Talley   Guitar
Joe Zinkan   Bass
Charles Berghoffer   Bass,Electric Bass
Charlie McCoy   Harmonica
Robert Morris   Electric Bass
William Puett   Clarinet,Horn,Tenor Saxophone
Dennis Hromek   Electric Bass,Leader,Vocals
William Armstrong   Fiddle
Leon Chase Copeland   Electric Bass,Leader
Billy Mize   Vocal Harmony
Jerry Ward   Electric Bass
Helen Carter   Vocals
Dale Hampton   Track Performer
Jerry Reed Hubbard   Guitar
Marcia Nichols   Guitar,Piano
Gene Price   Bass
Gene Bowen   Track Performer
Bobby Wayne   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Leader,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
William Edward "Billy" Liebert   Piano
Ronald Tut   Drums
Joe Simpson   Guitar
Leonard Raymond Sipes   Guitar
George French   Piano,Leader
Robert C. Thompson   Guitar
Norman D. Hamlett   Dobro,Steel Guitar,Leader
Joseph T. Babcock   Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Harold Lee "Curly" Chalker   Steel Guitar
June Evelyn Page   Vocals,Choir, Chorus
James Beck Gordon   Drums
Albert "Al Bruno" Bruneau   Guitar
Jerry "Chip Young" Stembridge   Guitar
James Holley   Fiddle
David Carroll Kirby   Guitar
Saint Quentin Gospel Choir   Vocals
Tommy Ash   Drums
Jerry Atembridge   Track Performer
Willard Price   Bass

Technical Credits

Johnny Cash   Composer
Mac Davis   Composer
Little Jimmy Dickens   Composer
Lefty Frizzell   Composer
Johnny Gimble   Composer
Merle Haggard   Composer
Kris Kristofferson   Composer
Buck Owens   Composer
Dolly Parton   Composer
Jimmie Rodgers   Composer
Floyd Tillman   Composer
Woody Guthrie   Composer
Irving Berlin   Composer
Irving Mills   Composer
Harold Arlen   Composer
Casey Anderson   Composer
Tommy Collins   Composer
Leon Payne   Composer
Cindy Walker   Composer
Richard M. Jones   Composer
Red Simpson   Composer
Biff Adam   Arranger,Composer
Shelly Lee Alley   Composer
Earl Poole Ball   Producer
Eddie Brackett   Composer
Hank Cochran   Composer
Larry Cohn   Illustrations
Duke Ellington   Composer
Tommy Duncan   Composer
Fred Foster   Composer
George French   Composer
Cliff Friend   Composer
Henry Glover   Composer
Bill Halley   Composer
Norm Hamlet   Composer
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg   Composer
Harlan Howard   Composer
Frank Jones   Producer
Dave Kirby   Composer
Clayton McMichen   Composer
Ralph Mooney   Composer
Roy Nichols   Composer
A.L. Owens   Composer
Wayne Raney   Composer
Ronnie Reno   Composer
George Richey   Producer
Fred Rose   Composer
Sanger D. Schafer   Composer
Lewis Talley   Arranger
Juan Tizol   Composer
Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys   Composer
Mark Yeary   Composer
Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey   Composer
Steve Pierce   Direction
Sid Manker   Composer
Dennis Hromek   Arranger,Composer,Duet
Deke Dickerson   Biographical Information
Fuzzy Owen   Composer,Producer
Jerry Ward   Composer
Marcia Nichols   Composer
Gene Price   Composer
Liz Anderson   Composer
Albert E. Brumley   Composer
Zez Confrey   Composer
Alton Delmore   Composer
Marty Haggard   Composer
Sterling Whipple   Composer
Jimmy Work   Composer
Noel Haggard   Composer
Bobby Wayne   Composer,Duet
R.A. Andreas   Illustrations
Richard Weize   Reissue Producer,Tape Research
Eddie Burris   Composer
Buddy Charlton   Composer
Holger Von Bargen   Art Direction
Leo Wood   Composer
Stephen H. Lemberg   Composer
Estelle Lovell   Composer
Don S. McCrossan   Composer
Vern Stovall   Composer
George Bennard   Composer
Bobby George   Composer
Lou Wayne   Composer
A. Cole   Composer
Wolfgang Taubenauer   Artwork
Traditional   Composer
Slim Bryant   Composer
Erich Hülsenbeck   Photo Scanning
Dean Holloway   Composer
Andreas Merck   Photo Scanning
O.W. Mayo   Composer
Glenn Martin   Composer
Robert "Bobby Wayne" Edrington   Composer
Kenneth Hunt   Composer

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