Merle through the ages
Larry R. Hazard | chicago IL | 06/09/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A "must have" for Merle fans, this dvd shows a tv performance sampler of some of his great hits throughout his songwriting career. I'ts great to see Merle up close with his band, hearing these great songs being done at the time they were hits. If they have some more fabulous clips for a second dvd, sign me up!"
Vorthog | Ontario, Canada | 11/21/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well lordy be, they've really dug deep into the vaults of country music history for this one, bringing together many of Merle Haggard's early TV performances including everything from obscure local Nashville shows (wait'll you get a load of Porter Wagoner's outfits!) to "Pop! Goes the Country" and the CMA awards.
Performances cover the period 1968-1983. It was really interesting for me not only to listen to the evolution of Merle's music (I actually seem to prefer his earliest stuff the best) but also to look at the changing styles in clothing and hair, and to watch Merle slowly growing older. I have to say that Merle was quite a handsome fellow in his younger days, and reminds me of a young Warren Beatty. And that fabulous voice -- it just tugs at my heart strings!
I have always dreamed of someday seeing him singing "Fightin' Side of Me" and "Okie From Muskokie" like this, right at the time when these classic songs were topping the charts as huge hits that were stirring up controversy across the nation. The first became a real redneck anthem of the day for the people supporting the Vietnam War effort. And I have heard rumour that when he penned the staunchly anti-drug song "Okie", Merle himself was in fact actually using drugs. In any case, it really brought back memories for me of all the social turmoil going on back in those days and kind of makes me wish I could hear how he feels about it all now, decades later today....
The DVD extras are good and include a lengthy interview with Merle and his then-wife and fellow performer right on his tour bus in 1981, as well as his Country Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony from 1994.
Shout Factory and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum have really done a fantastic job on this DVD and all of the footage is beautiful and looks as if it was just filmed today. If they have any more footage like this of Merle, I would love to see them do a Volume 2.
So far they have also made DVDs in this series for Tammy Wynette and Marty Robbins. Next I hope they'll continue with DVDs for Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton (lots of Porter & Dolly please!), Charley Pride, Ray Price, Tom T. Hall, George Jones, and how 'bout a li'l bit o' ol' Doug Kershaw?
To all Merle Haggard fans (especially fans of his early work) I would DEFINITELY recommend this DVD!"
Stumper | Ohio USA | 10/19/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Great Sound, This is a good Historical look at Haggards performaces. It made me even more of a fan and hungry for more DVD's of his performaces."