The album for 11-19-20 will be Merle Haggard – Okie From Muskogee. What a classic! I’m just as surprised as everyone else it hasn’t been on the program before!

AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder  [-]

The hit single title-tune didn’t make it onto an LP for three years, but purchasers of this disc were getting something better, a good live album, the first of three concerts released by Haggard and the Strangers in less than four years. Cut in Muskogee, Oklahoma (where Haggard is given the key to the city and an award certifying him an “honorary Okie”), the first side is devoted to classics such as “Mama Tried,” “Swinging Doors,” “Working Man Blues,” and “Sing Me Back Home” — stuck amid these originals is a sizzling rendition of Jimmie Rodgers’ “No Hard Times,” and “In the Arms of Love,” co-authored by Buck Owens and Gene Price (Haggard’s bass player, who gets a featured vocal). Haggard opens side two with his song about the mythical Depression-era persona “Hobo Bill” (the Jimmie Rodgers-influenced “Hobo Bill’s Last Ride”), premieres one new song (“Billy Overcame His Size”), and in the second half gives the Strangers a brief featured spot (“Blue Rock”), sandwiched between the Haggard anthems “White Line Fever” and a smooth rendition of “Okie From Muskogee.” The Bakersfield sound is very well represented, with crisp rhythms and lean leads (by Roy Nichols), and Haggard is in excellent voice.

Track Listing

  1. Introduction by Carlton Haney
  2. Mama Tried
  3. No Hard Times
  4. Silver Wings
  5. Merle Receives Key to Muskogee
  6. Merle’s Introduction to Medley
  7. Swinging Doors
  8. I’m a Lonesome Fugitive
  9. Sing Me Back Home
  10. Braned Man
  11. In the Arms of Love
  12. Workin’ Man Blues
  13. Merle’s Introduction to “Hobo Bill”
  14. Hobo Bill’s Last Ride
  15. Billy Overcame His Size
  16. If I Had Left It Up to You
  17. White Line Fever
  18. Blue Rock
  19. Introduction to Okie from Muskogee
  20. Okie From Muskogee

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