When Merle Haggard wrote “Mama Tried” I wonder if he knew he was penning one of the songs that cement the foundation of the Outlaw Country movement of the 1960s and ’70s? He had to know it was at least a very good song. After all, he did name the 1968 album after the song.
Whether or not Haggard was aware of the impact the song “Mama Tried” would have on Country Music that early own, he definitely knew it by the time of his passing in 2016. A few weeks before his death Merle Haggard was honored with the inclusion of “Mama Tried” in the National Recording Registry
Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried” By The Numbers
- The single was the title track from Haggard’s 8th album
- “Mama Tried” was Haggard’s 5th #1 Country single
- The song has been covered over 30 times by major label artists
- “Mama Tried” topped the charts for 4 weeks
- The song has been named one of the Top 10 Outlaw Country songs by Outlaw Circus
More interesting information on “Mama Tried”
Haggard’s versions and the covers have been featured in many films dating back to 1968’s Killers Three, which also boasts Haggard’s movie debut.
Though many think that “Mama Tried” was autobiographical, there are some inconsistencies. For instance, Haggard was never sentenced to life without parole, like the subject of the song.