Man, what an album that would’ve been.
The music world lost a giant last week when Merle Haggard passed away on his 79th birthday due to complications from pneumonia. Besides his remarkable and storied songwriting career, the Hag was also known for some pretty monumental collaborations, like last year’s Django and Jimmie album recorded with Willie Nelson.
In a recent interview with Nash Country Weekly, Loretta Lynn revealed that she and Haggard had been planning a duets album for a while, but were often impeded by their equally busy touring schedules. The 83-year old Lynn told the magazine, “Me and Merle was gonna do an album together, but we just haven’t sat down long enough to get it done. He’s on one end of the country while I’m on another, and it’s hard for us to get together.”
Lynn and Haggard were friends for the better part of four decades, with both equally leaving giant imprints on the country landscape. Haggard was often touted as the “Poet of the Common Man” and a voice of the silent majority, while Lynn was seen as one of country music’s first feminists and a strong female voice in a time and genre when women were often silenced.
And of course, both are known for their relentless touring and live performances. Sadly, their strong work ethic delayed a timeless duets album just a little too long. Thankfully we’ve still got Lynn and Merle’s life’s work to keep us company.