Merle Haggard Performing Live

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Country music legend Merle Haggard died earlier this week, passing away on his 79th birthday last Wednesday, April 6. Musicians from many genres and backgrounds have paid tribute to the iconic outlaw musician who left an indelible mark on American music. One of the all-time greats, in honor of Merle, here’s a Sunday Cinema look back at him performing some of his most well-known songs live during the course of his renowned career.

Perhaps his most well-known composition, Haggard’s statement song “Okie From Muskogee” was played live on an episode of the Porter Wagoner Show in 1970. Here’s Merle Haggard & The Strangers playing “Okie”:

Also recorded during the same TV appearance in 1970, here’s “The Fightin Side Of Me”:

Another of Haggard’s favorite compositions, this performance of “Mama Tried” took place the same year the song was released in 1968. Check out Merle appearing on the Billy Walker’s Country Carnival TV show:

Here’s Merle offering a rendition of “Workin’ Man Blues” during a 1977 appearance on the That Nashville Music television program via the Grand Ole Opry, watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIysTNgE8pw&nohtml5=False

Another Opry clip, this version of “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Drink” was filmed at the Grand Ole Opry on October 17, 2015. See the then 78-year-old in action from just a few months ago below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJlAAWcc7VA

This video was taken in 1978 at Haggard’s taping of Austin City Limits. Watch his performance of the often-covered standout ballad “Sing Me Back Home”:

Finally, this footage from Farm Aid in 1985 was filmed in Champaign, Illinois on September 22, 1985. Watch “Natural High” right here: