Merle Haggard, one of country music’s most admired living legends, will be honored with an all-star tribute album and the ACM Crystal Milestone next month.
Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley and Luke Bryan contributed to Working Man’s Poet: A Tribute to Merle Haggard, which will be released April 1 on Broken Bow Records. Ben Haggard, who is Merle’s son and guitarist, also appears on the project along with Randy Houser, Toby Keith, Dustin Lynch, Joe Nichols, Jake Owen, Parmalee, Thompson Square and more. Garth Brooks’ rendition of “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down” will be included in a Walmart exclusive edition of the album.
In addition, Haggard will be honored with the ACM Crystal Milestone Award during the Academy of Country Music Awards on April 6 in Las Vegas. The honor acknowledges his 50th year in country music. Haggard scored his first national Top 20 hit with “Sing a Sad Song” on Tally Records in 1964.
Haggard became the ACM’s first entertainer of the year when the award was presented for 1970. That win marked the ACM’s first Triple Crown achievement, as Haggard had already accepted the most promising male vocalist award for 1965 and the first of six male vocalist awards the following year.
Here’s a tribute to Merle from the Kennedy Centre Honors in 2010
Two of his most celebrated songs have also collected ACM awards in the single and song categories: “Okie From Muskogee” (1969) and “Are the Good Times Really Over” (1982). A winner of the ACM Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award and Poet’s Award, Haggard joined the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994.
Here is the track listing for Working Man’s Poet: A Tribute to Merle Haggard:
1. “Misery and Gin,” Randy Houser
2. “Footlights,” Joe Nichols
3. “Going Where the Lonely Go,” Jason Aldean
4. “Today I Started Loving You Again,” Kristy Lee Cook
5. “Carolyn,” Toby Keith
6. “Pancho and Lefty,” Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley
7. “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down,” Garth Brooks (Walmart exclusive)
8. “You Take Me for Granted,” Thompson Square
9. “Mama Tried,” Ben Haggard
10. “That’s the Way Love Goes,” Dustin Lynch
11. “Make Up and Faded Blue Jeans,” Jake Owen
12. “I’m a Lonesome Fugitive,” James Wesley
13. “Workin’ Man Blues,” Parmalee
14. “Are the Good Times Really Over,” Jason Aldean
15. “Let’s Chase Each Other Around the Room,” Thompson Square
16. “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink,” Dustin Lynch
17. “The Fightin’ Side of Me,” James Wesley
18. “My Favorite Memory,” Joe Nichols
19. “Ramblin’ Fever,” Randy Houser
20. “Sing Me Back Home,” Ben Haggard
Check out this tribute to Merle Haggard at the 2010 Kennedy Centre Honors