It’s time for another classic country flashback. In this rare clip from the 1960s, Merle Haggard performs “The Bottle Let Me Down” live on Country Music Holiday. This video just goes to show the pure talent that Haggard had and how iconic his voice remained up until his passing in April 2016.
He starts off his performance letting host Wally Fowler know he’s using a new guitar and has no strap for it. Not surprisingly, it doesn’t hinder his performance in any way.
“The Bottle Let Me Down” hit No. 3 on the Hot Country Singles chart. It was a single off of his 1966 album, Swinging Doors.
Also, can we also just take a second to appreciate his band’s classy sequined jackets?
The back-up singer in green appears to be Bonnie Owens, who was married to Buck Owens until she and Haggard wed some years later. Their marriage lasted from 1965 to 1978, and they remained close friends even after divorcing. Bonnie passed away in April 2006.
Two of Haggard’s sons, Ben and Noel, have been carrying on their father’s legacy in an amazing way. They stepped in to complete Haggard’s tour schedule and have been performing with his band The Strangers. Both sons are incredibly talented musicians. In fact, Ben frequently shares videos of him covering his father’s songs. He sounds a heck of a lot like his dad.
Ben, Noel, and The Strangers perform this month (and for the last time this year) in Laughlin, NV. Catch them while you still can.