If you’re going to write and record an album titled Where Have You Gone, all about the disappearance of real country music from the mainstream country music industry… why not start with a little Merle Haggard?
Alan Jackson wrote 15 of the 21 songs on the new album all by himself, but one of the ones he didn’t write, is a tribute to the great Merle Haggard.
Written by Lefty Frizzell and Whitey Shafer, “That’s The Way Love Goes” was first recorded by Johnny Rodriguez, and released in 1973 as the second single from his album, All I Ever Meant To Do Was Sing.
Merle Haggard then recorded the song as the title track for his 1983 album, That’s The Way Love Goes, and it would go on to win a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance.
According to The Tennessean, a Merle tribute has been on his bucket list for a while now:
“I’ve been wanting to do something for Merle ever since he died.
I think it’d been cut by a bunch of people, but I always heard Merle did “Love Goes” as a tribute to Lefty… I did it kinda the same way, as a tribute to Merle.”
The passing of the torch. Lefty to Merle, Merle to Alan, Alan to… Jon Pardi, Luke Combs?