The Story Behind Merle Haggard’s “My Favorite Memory”

Merle Haggard
Merle Haggard

In 1981, Merle Haggard signed a new, lucrative contract with Epic Records and the first two albums under the deal brought about a resurgence in his lengthy career. After leaving his longtime label Capitol in 1977 and associating himself with MCA for four years, the pairing produced just one official #1 hit (“I Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Drink”), although several releases stalled at #2, including “If We’re Not Back In Love By Monday,” “Ramblin’ Fever,” “I’m Always On A Mountain When I Fall,” “It’s Been A Great Afternoon,” and “The Way I Am.”

Haggard parted ways with MCA by ’81 and after his new contract with Epic was signed, he teamed with author Peggy Russell to write his autobiography, “Sing Me Back Home,” which candidly detailed the sordid aspects of his private life, such as his time in prison at San Quentin from 1957 to 1960, his romantic feelings for Dolly Parton (written about in Merle’s 1975 number one hit “Always Wanting You”) and memories of his father’s death in 1946. After the book’s publication, Haggard admitted in an interview with People Magazine that he wasn’t sure that putting all of his life down in a book was such a good idea because he could sometimes already see the disappointment in people’s faces when he would meet someone.

Prev1 of 2
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse