For many people, the word “country” starts with the letter “c”. Where we come from it starts with a capital “M” and is spelled “M-E-R-L-E.”

The original outlaw has a new one coming out next month and the nice people at Vanguard are sharing the title cut for free.

The folks at Vanguard also sent us a bio of Mr. Merle Haggard but we consider it a badge of honor to recite his story chapter and verse: born in Oildale, California in a freight car, raised amongst migrant workers from the dustbowl of Oklahoma, truant as a child, imprisoned as an adult.

An originator of the Bakersfield Sound (along with Buck and Wynn), an originator of the outlaw country movement, writer of “Okie From Muskogee,” country legend, country giant. And, at 74, a Kennedy Center honoree who’s still writing music and making records.

Herein we offer the title cut from his second Vanguard album, Working In Tennessee, scheduled to release October 4th.

A jaunty Texas-swing gone Nashville, Merle tells a typically wry story of how he went “down south to give ’em a hand” and found himself “working in Tennessee.” With the help of his ace band, the Strangers (including his longtime guitarist Reggie Young), Merle name drops some legends, trades some eights with some of Nashville’s slickest players and has a damn good time doing it.

If you need a reason to kick up your heels, here ’tis.

℗ 2011 Vanguard

Artists: Merle Haggard

Related Artists: George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Paycheck, David Allan Coe, Buck Owens, Bobby Bare, Hank Williams Jr., Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Tom T. Hall

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