I freely admit that anytime I can join my two passions together I usually jump at the chance. Classic film history and great traditional country music. The type that was taught to us by Hank Williams, George and Tammy, Patsy, Lefty and Loretta.Waylon, Johnny and Willie. And of course Merle Haggard.
Merle isn`t getting any younger but I did get the chance to see him about a year ago and he didn`t disappoint. Like many musicians, Haggard has flirted with Hollywood in different ways over the years. Back in the sixties when just beginning the legend that would come to be known as `The Hag` he even turned up in a low budget farce called Hillbillies in a Haunted House with fellow musician Ferlin Husky and a trio of of aging Hollywood regulars, Lon Chaney Jr., Basil Rathbone and of course John Carradine.
There`s also a feature film I have yet to see called Killers Three from 1968 with Dick Clark.
Merle fit right into what I call the Clint Eastwood Country Music years and was featured in Bronco Billy with Clint singing Misery and Gin. They even joined in song on a honkytonk farce titled Barroom Buddies.
I would imagine like many others someday Merle`s story will be told in film. There`s plenty here to sell the story to a would be film producer if it already hasn`t been. A troubled youth, prison, turning to country music and becoming one of it`s biggest icons.
Merle recorded this song quite a few years back but it allowed me to mix my passions together. A great song from Hag here and one that I hum every now and then. It`s All In The Movies.
I get pretty opinionated on the state of the music known as Country today. I`m not gonna go there. But I will say one of my favorite phrases associated with the country music I know and love is `Haggard and Jones.`It`s become a catch all expression to describe to others what the music is really all about and it`s sound.