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Merle Haggard - The Roots Of My Raising

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The Roots Of My Raising

Merle Haggard & The Strangers

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The Roots of My Raising is Merle Haggard's final recording for Capitol. Like its predecessor, My Love Affair With Trains, it features only one of his originals. But it's difficult to say whether Haggard was saving his own songs for his new deal with MCA or had specifics in mind when he made these albums. It was a hell of a way to go out though: The album garnered two number one singles (Hag's 23rd and 24th) in the title track written by the great Tommy Collins and Cindy Walker's "Cherokee Maiden," which Bob Wills hit with in 1941. The most interesting thing about these songs as hit singles is how far outside the mainstream of country music they were. The music was becoming slicker and more urban for the first time in a decade, and urban cowboy was just around the corner. One of Haggard's most overlooked gems is here, though it was never issued as a single. "What Have You Got Planned Tonight, Diana?" is a deeply moving love song from the bed of a dying man. There's also Haggard's definitive version -- he recorded it three different times -- of Lefty Frizzell's hit "I Never Go Around Mirrors" and his own lovely and poignant "Am I Standing in Your Way." The Strangers remained the most rock-solid of country bands, able to slide from honky tonk to near-bluegrass stomp to Jimmie Rodgers-style blues ("Gamblin' Polka Dot Blues" and "Delta Blues") to Western swing with a horn section on "Cherokee Maiden." While The Roots of My Raising ended a 12-year relationship with Capitol, it was also the end of a particular stylistic direction for Haggard. The move to MCA would see an evolution in his sound and recording approach.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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The Roots Of My Raising

Merle Haggard

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1
The Roots Of My Raising
Merle Haggard
00:02:47

Ken Nelson, Producer - Merle Haggard, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Charles "Fuzzy" Owen, Producer - Tommy Collins, ComposerLyricist - Tiny Moore, Mandolin, AssociatedPerformer - Eldon Shamblin, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Biff Adam, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Roy Nichols, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Mark Yeary, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Hamlet, Steel Guitar, Dobro, AssociatedPerformer - Ronnie Reno, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Don Markham, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - James Tittle, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 1976 Capitol Records Nashville ℗ 1976 Capitol Records Nashville

2
What Have You Got Planned Tonight Diana
Merle Haggard & The Strangers
00:03:11

Dave Kirby, Composer - Ken Nelson, Producer - Merle Haggard, Composer - Merle Haggard & The Strangers, MainArtist

(C) 1976 Capitol Records Nashville ℗ 1976 Capitol Records Nashville

3
The Waltz You Saved For Me
Merle Haggard
00:02:25

Gus Kahn, Composer - Merle Haggard, MainArtist - The Strangers, MainArtist - Emil Flindt, Composer - Wayne King, Composer

(C) 1976 Capitol Records Nashville ℗ 1976 Capitol Records Nashville

4
Walk On The Outside
Merle Haggard
00:03:45

Howard, Composer - Merle Haggard, MainArtist - The Strangers, MainArtist - Paul Kirby, Composer

(C) 1976 Capitol Records Nashville ℗ 1976 Capitol Records Nashville

5
Gambling Polka Dot Blues
Merle Haggard
00:02:40

Merle Haggard, MainArtist - Jimmy Rodgers, Composer - The Strangers, MainArtist

(C) 1976 Capitol Records Nashville ℗ 1976 Capitol Records Nashville

6
Cherokee Maiden (1976 Version)
Merle Haggard & The Strangers
00:02:59

Fuzzy Owen, Producer - Ken Nelson, Producer - Merle Haggard, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Charles "Fuzzy" Owen, Producer - Merle Haggard & The Strangers, MainArtist - Cindy Walker, ComposerLyricist - Tiny Moore, Mandolin, AssociatedPerformer - Eldon Shamblin, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Biff Adam, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Roy Nichols, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Mark Yeary, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Hamlet, Steel Guitar, Dobro, AssociatedPerformer - Ronnie Reno, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Don Markham, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - James Tittle, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 1976 Capitol Records Nashville ℗ 1976 Capitol Records Nashville

7
Am I Standing In Your Way
Merle Haggard
00:02:57

Merle Haggard, Composer, MainArtist - The Strangers, MainArtist

(C) 1976 Capitol Records Nashville ℗ 1976 Capitol Records Nashville

8
Colorado
Merle Haggard
00:03:31

Dave Kirby, Composer - Merle Haggard, MainArtist - The Strangers, MainArtist

(C) 1976 Capitol Records Nashville ℗ 1976 Capitol Records Nashville

9
I Never Go Around Mirrors
Merle Haggard & The Strangers
00:02:47

Ken Nelson, Producer - Charles "Fuzzy" Owen, Producer - Merle Haggard & The Strangers, MainArtist - Lefty Frizzell, Composer - Sanger D. Shafer, Composer

(C) 1976 Capitol Records Nashville ℗ 1976 Capitol Records Nashville

10
Mississippi Delta Blues
Merle Haggard
00:03:34

Jack Neville, Composer - Ken Nelson, Producer, Co-Producer - Merle Haggard, MainArtist - Charles "Fuzzy" Owen, Producer, Co-Producer - The Strangers, MainArtist - Jimmie Rodgers, Composer

(C) 1976 Capitol Records Nashville ℗ 1976 Capitol Records Nashville

Album Description

The Roots of My Raising is Merle Haggard's final recording for Capitol. Like its predecessor, My Love Affair With Trains, it features only one of his originals. But it's difficult to say whether Haggard was saving his own songs for his new deal with MCA or had specifics in mind when he made these albums. It was a hell of a way to go out though: The album garnered two number one singles (Hag's 23rd and 24th) in the title track written by the great Tommy Collins and Cindy Walker's "Cherokee Maiden," which Bob Wills hit with in 1941. The most interesting thing about these songs as hit singles is how far outside the mainstream of country music they were. The music was becoming slicker and more urban for the first time in a decade, and urban cowboy was just around the corner. One of Haggard's most overlooked gems is here, though it was never issued as a single. "What Have You Got Planned Tonight, Diana?" is a deeply moving love song from the bed of a dying man. There's also Haggard's definitive version -- he recorded it three different times -- of Lefty Frizzell's hit "I Never Go Around Mirrors" and his own lovely and poignant "Am I Standing in Your Way." The Strangers remained the most rock-solid of country bands, able to slide from honky tonk to near-bluegrass stomp to Jimmie Rodgers-style blues ("Gamblin' Polka Dot Blues" and "Delta Blues") to Western swing with a horn section on "Cherokee Maiden." While The Roots of My Raising ended a 12-year relationship with Capitol, it was also the end of a particular stylistic direction for Haggard. The move to MCA would see an evolution in his sound and recording approach.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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