On This Date: Merle Haggard Was At #1 With His ‘Hag’ Album Back In 1971

Merle Haggard country music

When you think of the Mount Rushmore of country music, whose faces would be on it?

Of course, this is incredibly subjective, but I’d 100% go all in with Merle Haggard, as his ability to tell stories and deliver them to audiences through song was a near second to none, boasting 38 number one hits.

With that being said, one of his most iconic albums he ever released was the one he named after his own nickname, Hag.

In fact, Hag was released back on April 22nd, 1971, and was sitting atop the Billboard country albums chart on this date back in 1971.

Produced by Ken Nelson, the album was Haggard’s first slate of original songs in a year in a half, as his previous four albums were Jimmie Rodgers and Bob Wills tribute albums, along with two live albums.

Although Hag never boasted any number one singles, he did have three singles off the album that went number three.

In the midst of the Vietnam War, the album addresses a number of social issues that were plaguing America at the time, and you see that with his cover of Ernest Tubb’s “Soldier’s Last Letter,” “Jesus, Take Hold,” and “Sidewalks of Chicago.”

“Soldier’s Last Letter”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock