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Elvis and Merle Haggard , any connection?

Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:31 pm

Besides James Burton?

Re: Elvis and Merle Haggard , any connection?

Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:41 pm

No connection, but Merle's "From Graceland To The Promised Land" is a very nice tribute.

It's a long way from Memphis to that mansion in the sky
But he kept his faith in Jesus all along
It's a long way from Graceland across Jordan to the Promised Land
But Jesus finally came to lead him home.


Merle loved Elvis very, very much.

Re: Elvis and Merle Haggard , any connection?

Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:46 pm

All of 1977's My Farewell to Elvis was made for Elvis. It's really good.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Farewell_to_Elvis


771112_MCA 2314_Haggard_Front.jpg
771112_MCA 2314_Haggard_Back.jpg
Merle Haggard, My Farewell to Elvis (MCA 2314, November 12, 1977)
Billboard US Country #6, December 24, 1977
Note: Liner notes by Presley piano player Glen D. Hardin.



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Merle Haggard, "In The Ghetto" My Farewell to Elvis (MCA 2314, November 12, 1977)


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Merle Haggard, "From Graceland To The Promised Land" (NBC-TV, "The Big Event" - Sunday, January 8, 1978)


From Graceland To The Promised Land
Merle Haggard

Ladies and gentlemen - my farewell to Elvis

From the sun years of the fifties and the birth of rock and roll
Millions screamed to see him do his thing
Elvis touched the life of every ear that heard him
And they couldn't help but listen when he sang

It's a long way from Memphis to that mansion in the sky
But he kept his faith in Jesus all along
It's a long way from Graceland across Jordan to the Promised Land
But Jesus finally came to lead him home

From the days of Love Me Tender to his mama's last farewell
Some say he knew how long he had to stay
His life was two days longer than the one who gave him life
And he almost knew the number of the days

It's a long way from Memphis to that mansion in the sky
But he kept his faith in Jesus all along
It's a long way from Graceland across Jordan to the Promised Land
But Jesus finally came to lead him home

It's a long way from Memphis to that mansion in the sky
But he kept his faith in Jesus all along
It's a long way from Graceland across Jordan to the Promised Land
But he kept his faith in Jesus all along
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:08 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Re: Elvis and Merle Haggard , any connection?

Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:51 pm

Yes.

A lot of people don't know this but Elvis and Merle Haggard competed against one another for a couple of awards.

In 1969 the Academy of country music awards nominated ''Don't cry daddy'' as best song but it lost out to Merle Haggard's ''Okie from Muskogee''.

In 1970 Elvis was nominated for the prestigious Academy of Country Music's entertainer of the year award but lost to Merle Haggard.

Technically best song would have gone to Mac Davis but it is still a connection between them.

Re: Elvis and Merle Haggard , any connection?

Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:10 pm

Those lines have always puzzled and amused me:

His life was two days longer than the one who gave him life
and he almost knew the number of the day.


The first works on the false idea that Elvis and Gladys both died at 42 y.o., Elvis on August 16 and Gladys on August 14 BUT ALSO assumes that they must have had the SAME BIRTH DATE! Huh? I mean, I know Merle was sincere but that's just plain dumb. The second line comes from that ridiculous notion that Elvis knew the day he was going to die, which itself leads into the notions that he either committed suicide or faked his death.

I just never understood why a tribute song would head into this kind of territory. Naivety perhaps?

Re: Elvis and Merle Haggard , any connection?

Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:50 pm

Merle was pretty distraught. He did the best he could. He loved Elvis very, very much.

Re: Elvis and Merle Haggard , any connection?

Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:22 am

Merle's a singer
She stands up when she plays the piano
In a nightclub

Re: Elvis and Merle Haggard , any connection?

Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:35 am

Merle is a really great performer. if you like country, like me. The farewell lp is outstanding because Merle sings the songs his way and not tries to immitate Elvis. Merle also did a version of Long Black Limousine, and, Green Green Grass of Home. Merle is one the most down to earth singers i know. Nothing fancy or super star behavior, just Merle and nothing special. But the both have no real links to eachother.

Re: Elvis and Merle Haggard , any connection?

Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:07 am

When Merle's Grandma Harp died in the early 70's, my dad, (who worked for the local radio station in Harrison, Arkansas) was dispatched to interview Merle while he was in the area to attend the funeral. During their interaction, my dad asked him if he had met Elvis. He said he had and that he felt like Elvis had been rude to him and brushed him off during their meeting. My dad would mention that story to me occasionally as he was a big fan of both artists.

I guess Merle must have reconciled himself with the perceived slight. Or maybe he just thought some Elvis tribute songs might create some big money.

Re: Elvis and Merle Haggard , any connection?

Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:15 am

dhornjr1 wrote:When Merle's Grandma Harp died in the early 70's, my dad, (who worked for the local radio station in Harrison, Arkansas) was dispatched to interview Merle while he was in the area to attend the funeral. During their interaction, my dad asked him if he had met Elvis. He said he had and that he felt like Elvis had been rude to him and brushed him off during their meeting. My dad would mention that story to me occasionally as he was a big fan of both artists.

I guess Merle must have reconciled himself with the perceived slight. Or maybe he just thought some Elvis tribute songs might create some big money.


If you knew the LP, you'd never say such a thing.

Re: Elvis and Merle Haggard , any connection?

Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:26 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
dhornjr1 wrote:When Merle's Grandma Harp died in the early 70's, my dad, (who worked for the local radio station in Harrison, Arkansas) was dispatched to interview Merle while he was in the area to attend the funeral. During their interaction, my dad asked him if he had met Elvis. He said he had and that he felt like Elvis had been rude to him and brushed him off during their meeting. My dad would mention that story to me occasionally as he was a big fan of both artists.

I guess Merle must have reconciled himself with the perceived slight. Or maybe he just thought some Elvis tribute songs might create some big money.


If you knew the LP, you'd never say such a thing.


I have the original LP. As I said, my dad was a huge Haggard fan. I am as well, and I know what he said. Unless, of course, you want to accuse my dead father of lying.

Re: Elvis and Merle Haggard , any connection?

Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:36 am

Merle Haggard is another one of my big musical loves (along with Elvis obviously, and also Queen - pretty disparate bunch, eh?) Merle Haggard is a true country poet, his lyrics are wonderful, his music is beautiful and his singing, certainly up until the early eighties when the lifestyle seems to have caught up with him, is outstanding. * I haven't come across much relating the two apart from a few songs they both sang - Merle also did a cracking version of She Thinks I Still Care. The tribute album was therefore a surprise but a welcome one. If anyone knows any more details about the two of them meeting I'd love to know more. Incidentally if you've not seen Merle Haggard do his impersonations (not Elvis unfortunately) check it out on YouTube, Excellent, especially his Marty Robbins.

*By this I mean that his voice has a much more lived in quality and he has less control over it than before which I'm not as enamoured with. Still rate him highly though but man those first twenty years....!

Re: Elvis and Merle Haggard , any connection?

Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:49 am

dhornjr1 wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
dhornjr1 wrote:When Merle's Grandma Harp died in the early 70's, my dad, (who worked for the local radio station in Harrison, Arkansas) was dispatched to interview Merle while he was in the area to attend the funeral. During their interaction, my dad asked him if he had met Elvis. He said he had and that he felt like Elvis had been rude to him and brushed him off during their meeting. My dad would mention that story to me occasionally as he was a big fan of both artists.

I guess Merle must have reconciled himself with the perceived slight. Or maybe he just thought some Elvis tribute songs might create some big money.


If you knew the LP, you'd never say such a thing.


I have the original LP. As I said, my dad was a huge Haggard fan. I am as well, and I know what he said. Unless, of course, you want to accuse my dead father of lying.


My comment is clearly directed towards the highlighted portion. I assume that's your statement.

If so, go listen to My Farewell to Elvis again and tell us it is strictly a "money grab" project.

Re: Elvis and Merle Haggard , any connection?

Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:32 am

Merle references Elvis in his song 'Leonard' which is itself a biographical tribute to singer/songwriter Tommy Collins:

When LEONARD finally came to California
He was twenty-one years old as I recall
He loved to write a song and pick the guitar
And he came to hang a Gold one on the wall.

The town in which he lived is not important
But you'll know which town I mean by the time I'm thru
He soon became a famous entertainer
But LEONARD was a name he never used

He was on his way to having what he wanted
Just about as close as one could be
Hey! once he even followed Elvis Presley
And he wrote a lot of country songs for me.

But he laid it all aside to follow Jesus
For years he chose to let his music go
But preaching wasn't really meant for LEONARD
But how in the hell was LEONARD s'posed to know.

Well, life began to twist its way around him
And I wondered how he carried such a load
He came back again to try his luck in music
And lost his wife and family on the road.

SPOKEN:
[After that he seemed to bog down even deeper
And I saw what booze and pills could really do
And I wondered if I'd ever see him sober
But I forgot about a Friend that LEONARD knew.]

Well, LEONARD gave me lots of inspiration
He helped teach me how to write a country song
And he even brought around a bag of groceries
Hey! back before Muskogee came along.

Really I'm not trying to hide his showname
Or the town in which this episode began
SPOKEN: [Somehow I had to write a song for old Tommy]
If just to see the smilin' faces in the band.

When LEONARD finally came to California
He was twenty-one years old as I recall
And he loved to write a song and pick the guitar
And he came to hang a Gold one on the wall.

Re: Elvis and Merle Haggard , any connection?

Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:36 pm

When Merle's Grandma Harp died in the early 70's, my dad, (who worked for the local radio station in Harrison, Arkansas) was dispatched to interview Merle while he was in the area to attend the funeral. During their interaction, my dad asked him if he had met Elvis. He said he had and that he felt like Elvis had been rude to him and brushed him off during their meeting. My dad would mention that story to me occasionally as he was a big fan of both artists.


Hi dhornjr1, any idea when was this meeting? in the 60´s?

Re: Elvis and Merle Haggard , any connection?

Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:46 pm

Doc,

I need to correct you on the last line of "From Graceland To The Promised Land".....

It goes like this:

"But he kept his FAITH IN Jesus all along".

It's not: "But he kept his favorite Jesus all along."


I used to have this one particular song - loved it and still do. As far as Merle brushing Elvis off, I don't think that's true, either. Like everyone else, he respected him.

Re: Elvis and Merle Haggard , any connection?

Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:21 pm

dhornjr1 wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
dhornjr1 wrote:When Merle's Grandma Harp died in the early 70's, my dad, (who worked for the local radio station in Harrison, Arkansas) was dispatched to interview Merle while he was in the area to attend the funeral. During their interaction, my dad asked him if he had met Elvis. He said he had and that he felt like Elvis had been rude to him and brushed him off during their meeting. My dad would mention that story to me occasionally as he was a big fan of both artists.

I guess Merle must have reconciled himself with the perceived slight. Or maybe he just thought some Elvis tribute songs might create some big money.


If you knew the LP, you'd never say such a thing.


I have the original LP. As I said, my dad was a huge Haggard fan. I am as well, and I know what he said. Unless, of course, you want to accuse my dead father of lying.

Just curious as to why you would make a statement to Doc insinuating he would call your father a liar, when you claim Haggard is the one who originally told the story to begin with? Why not ask Doc if he is calling Haggard a liar, or would that make a weaker defense?

Re: Elvis and Merle Haggard , any connection?

Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:37 pm

I really like Merle Haggard's work but didn't care too much for the Elvis covers. But I really dig the title track! :D

Re: Elvis and Merle Haggard , any connection?

Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:41 pm

I like the Colonel's poem better.

Re: Elvis and Merle Haggard , any connection?

Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:10 pm

Tony Trout wrote:Doc,

I need to correct you on the last line of "From Graceland To The Promised Land".....

It goes like this:

"But he kept his FAITH IN Jesus all along".

It's not: "But he kept his favorite Jesus all along."


Corrected, thanks. It was just the one line, the others were correct all along.

Re: Elvis and Merle Haggard , any connection?

Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:11 pm

elvisjock wrote:I like the Colonel's poem better.


If only he'd gotten Charlie to set the prose to music ...

Re: Elvis and Merle Haggard , any connection?

Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:20 pm

elvis1977br wrote:
When Merle's Grandma Harp died in the early 70's, my dad, (who worked for the local radio station in Harrison, Arkansas) was dispatched to interview Merle while he was in the area to attend the funeral. During their interaction, my dad asked him if he had met Elvis. He said he had and that he felt like Elvis had been rude to him and brushed him off during their meeting. My dad would mention that story to me occasionally as he was a big fan of both artists.


Hi dhornjr1, any idea when was this meeting? in the 60´s?


I've heard that, according to Merle's autobiography, he met Elvis once. Someone on the newsgroup AEK said the meeting was in Vegas but I haven't heard when they met. Apparently Elvis said to Priscilla, when introducing her to Merle, "he's a country singer honey". Something about the way it was spoken is said to have stung Merle.

Marty lacker confirmed they did meet and [Elvis] liked him but didn't actually listen very much to Merle's music.

Re: Elvis and Merle Haggard , any connection?

Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:26 pm

Just listen to that intro of "Sing Me Back Home" - reminds us a little of WHICH song? :wink:

Sorry, I could only find this terrible re-recording and not the haunting original.

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Re: Elvis and Merle Haggard , any connection?

Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:26 am

luckyjackson1 wrote:Just listen to that intro of "Sing Me Back Home" - reminds us a little of WHICH song? :wink:

Sorry, I could only find this terrible re-recording and not the haunting original.

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"Sing Me Back Home" was a Billboard US Country #1 in 1968, it's not surprising the gentle acoustic sound was emulated by the American Sound house band.

Re: Elvis and Merle Haggard , any connection?

Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:45 am

There are certain things in life that I simply will not tolerate. Disrespecting The Hag is one of those things. If you're runnin' down Merle Haggard hoss you're walkin' on the fightin' side of me!