The Story Behind The Song: “Yesterday’s Wine”

merle haggard George jones
Merle Haggard and George Jones

On July 10, 1982, New York City’s country station at the time, WHN-AM, aired a bootlegged copy of “Yesterday’s Wine,” a song targeted as the first single from Merle Haggard’s duet album with George Jones. The radio station might have jumped the gun, but it wasn’t long before the single was issued and nearly every other station fell in line.

Haggard had just finished recording another duet album with Willie Nelson, but that record was put on the shelf because Willie already had a large amount of product in release. Nelson was still credited as the writer in the Haggard/Jones collaboration though, having written “Yesterday’s Wine” more than ten years earlier for one of his final projects on RCA.

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