Merle Haggard, a renowned country music legend, displayed his incredible talent as an impressionist, leaving audiences amazed. During an appearance on The Glen Campbell Show, Haggard showcased his exceptional impersonations of Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, and Buck Owens, capturing every detail flawlessly. From their facial expressions to their distinct singing styles, Haggard truly embodied each of these iconic artists.
It may come as a surprise to many that Haggard possessed such impressive impersonation skills. His renditions of Cash, Owens, and Robbins were so accurate that if you had closed your eyes and simply listened to his performance, you might have mistaken him for the original artists. One of the songs Haggard chose to perform was Marty Robbins’ 1962 hit single, “Devil Woman.” He delivered it with such authenticity that it could have easily been mistaken for a Robbins performance. This particular song marked Robbins’ seventh No. 1 hit, maintaining its position at the top of the charts for eight weeks.
Next, Haggard took on “Love’s Gonna Live Here” by Buck Owens and His Buckaroos, with Buck Owens himself joining him on stage. Owens had originally released this song in 1964 on his album “Together Again – My Heart Skips A Beat.” As Haggard sang, Owens made an appearance and harmonized with him on his own composition. Then, Owens excitedly exclaimed, “Do Johnny,” urging Haggard to impersonate Johnny Cash.
Amidst laughter, Haggard jokingly responded, “He’ll kill me.” He proceeded to sing “Jackson” and even mimicked Cash’s guitar-playing style. Suddenly, to everyone’s delight, Johnny Cash himself emerged on stage and joined the performance.
Imagining the atmosphere in that crowd is awe-inspiring. One viewer commented, stating, “The talent on that stage surpasses anything seen on the ACM Awards Show in the past decade.” Another viewer expressed their surprise, writing, “I expected at least one impersonation to be weak, but nope, they were all remarkably spot-on!”
Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash shared a close friendship that played a significant role in Haggard’s singing career. Haggard first found inspiration in Cash’s music while serving a prison sentence at San Quentin State Prison when he was just 20 years old. After his release in 1960, Haggard immersed himself in songwriting and went on to release numerous hit songs. His encounter with the legendary “Man in Black” had a profound impact on his life, steering him toward a successful path.
Reflecting on their friendship, Haggard shared, “We always had a humorous rapport. Once, I criticized something he did, and he quipped, ‘Haggard, you have the ugliest face in country music.’ We had that kind of sense of humor back then. But on another occasion, when I missed a couple of dates in Oregon at the age of 49, Cash and June called me, asking, ‘What’s wrong, Haggard? Did you get hold of some bad dope?’ I replied, ‘No.’ Cash responded, ‘What’s the matter?’ I said, ‘I’m 49 years old, Cash. I’m about to turn 50.’ He exclaimed, ‘Oh, my God. I ended up in rehab when I turned 50. I completely understand.’ He supported me whenever he had the chance, and I would have done the same for him.”
Enjoy, the mesmerizing performance of one and only Merle Haggard,