The Story Behind The Song: “Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Star” – Merle Haggard

One morning, Merle woke up thinking about how Bob Wills and Tommy Duncan had added words to old fiddle tunes. He thought about an old melody called “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” Haggard decided to try to compose words to it, but after spending an ample amount of time working on it, he came to the conclusion that there was just no way to add lyrics to that thing. So instead, he took up the job of penning a 1955 rock-and-roll style “Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Star.”

Merle had it about half-written and went over to Freddy’s houseboat to see if he wanted to get in on it. Freddy was sick, though, and declined. Haggard told him he was writing a number one song and that Freddy would be sorry he missed out on it. Merle turned out to be right. “Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Star” ascended to the summit of Billboard’s country singles chart February 20, 1988 marking his 38th number one hit, the third most in history. Five singles later, Haggard made his 72nd and final appearance in Billboard’s Top Ten with “A Better Love Next Time.”

“Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Star” marked the first record that Ken Suesov produced to make it to the top. Suesov had worked at Tom Jones’ Britannia Studio in Hollywood as an engineer, contributing to Merle’s “Big City” album and Shelly West’s lone number one hit as a solo artist: “Jose Cuervo.”

READ MORE: Theresa Ann Lane: Meet Merle Haggard’s Last Wife After Five Marriages


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