Merle Haggard passed away just a short time ago. He really hadn’t been on the radio charts or anything for a couple decades. That makes it easy to overlook just how important he was for country music.
You start looking at all the hits he had over the years. You start to consider the background he came from. It’s really incredible what he was able to accomplish with his life.
And many remember his contributions. Toby Keith has been playing tribute. Now Willie Nelson, one of Merle’s contemporaries, has released a tribute song for his friend.
He Won’t Ever Be Gone – Willie Nelson
It’s a touching tribute. These songs about those that have passed must be at least a little difficult to do. Obviously there is sadness that those we loved are no longer with us. But there is also the fact that you want the tribute to come off right.
Willie did a fine job on this one. And the cool thing is that this is just a really good song on its own. A good melody. The words flow nicely. There are some specifics in there along with some vagueness that can probably help anyone that is missing someone.
Willie sounds pretty good on this one. He was never the best vocalist in Nashville. But that was never the point with his music. He was truly a unique artist and when he fully embraced that he became an icon, just like Merle.
We’re lucky to still have Willie around. And we were definitely lucky to have Merle in our music lives.
CML Points: 90/100