Merle Haggard once told a New York columnist that the emotions and moods he had in his life just naturally came out in his songwriting. He said that if everybody could write songs, they would cover the very same emotions he did.
Well, in 1973, “sorrow” seemed to be the key emotion for Merle. Following his chart-topping “I Wonder If They Ever Think Of Me” (a tribute to Vietnam POWs) on February 17th, he reached #3 on May 12th with “The Emptiest Arms In The World.” His next single, a live rendition of “Everybody’s Had The Blues,” returned Haggard to number one. The single debuted on June 30th at #55 and peaked in its ninth week on August 25, 1973.