ARTIST: Merle Haggard
TITLE: I’m a Lonesome Fugitive
YEAR RELEASED: 1967
CHART ACTION: #165, #3 Country
SINGLES: I’m a Lonesome Fugitive (#3 Country)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Life in Prison
LINEUP: Merle Haggard, James Burton, Glen Campbell, Billy Mize, Lewis Talley, Ralph Mooney, Glen D. Hardin, Jerry Ward, James Gordon, Bonnie Owens
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The title cut is a classic, and the rest of the album is quite complementary, making this a great 60’s country album.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Merle Haggard was one of the few country artists not to succumb to the ‘hit plus filler’ country album that many lesser artists churned out in the 60’s.
The title cut is a legendary country song from the husband and wife team of Liz and Casey Anderson, but Hag writes most of the other songs on the record and they’re good quality as well. “Life in Prison” is his self-penned classic here – a tale of woe covered by so many others, including the Byrds.
The band was full of LA hotshots, and included great backing vocals by Bonnie Owens. All in all, a great country album – and a rare one to cross over somewhat to the pop charts.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: When the songwriters played “I’m a Lonesome Fugitive” to Haggard, they were unaware that he actually did time at San Quentin.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: A-: Another great country album from Haggard, and the deep cuts are worthy as well.