It ain’t a secret that Merle Haggard was not only respected by those in the country music world, but across all genres of music.
And a classic example of one music legend respecting The Hag’s work?
No other than Rolling Stones co-founder and legendary guitar player, Keith Richards.
He recently took to Instagram to recall the first time he ever met Haggard back in 2004.
He remembers it like it was yesterday:
“I turn around to my right, and there’s this other cat sitting next to me. He’s wearing one of those straw Stetsons and a grizzled beard, and he looks at me and gives me a grin and I give him a grin.
I get through two more bars of the song, and suddenly I realize it’s Merle Haggard. And I almost lost it. You know, I’ve been sitting next to one of the greats.
He turns around and gives me a nod and a wink, and I carry on, I managed to get through the song.”
I think you can officially say your band made it, when you have one of the greatest artists in all of music coming to your show.
Check it out:
That moment was during the rehearsal for this television special.
Merle Haggard, Keith Richards, Willie Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Kid Rock and a ton more came together for Willie’s live Angels & Outlaws album.
Keith recalled his friendship with Merle in an interview with Rolling Stone, shortly after Merle’s death in 2016:
“When Merle broke through, he was akin to Johnny Cash in the starkness of the sound. But it was more melodic. You felt like this guy knew shit. There was a wisdom in it.
I still sing and play “Sing Me Back Home” on the piano. That’s my party piece, baby. It’s just so real, so touching.”
Real recognized real.
Dolly Parton Dream Cover Is Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction”
Dolly Parton took the rock & roll world by storm back in March, when she politely turned down the nomination to be accepted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, because she felt like she hadn’t “earned that right” as a country music artist.
However, the ballots had already been sent out, and she changed her tune on the nomination and accepted, and she was inducted with Lionel Ritchie, Eminem, Duran Duran, Pat Benatar, Eurythmics, and Carly Simon.
With that being said, she sat down for an interview with Billboard to discuss her induction, the “controversy,” her appreciation for rock music, and songs she’s wanted to cover.
Perhaps the most interesting portion of the interview was when she admitted her love for the Rolling Stones, and how she’s always wanted to cover them and Lynyrd Skynyrd:
“I love The Rolling Stones. I’ve always wanted to do the song “Satisfaction.” That’s one of my husband’s favorite songs. And I may have to drag Mick’s guys up there to help me sing it.
I thought about writing a song called “Rock of Ages,” where I get all the great old rock ‘n’rollers, the people that I have always admired and respected.
I didn’t follow rock music that much, but my husband is a rock ‘n’ roll freak. He loves all the groups and all the great stuff. I just liked certain records.
I may do up a version of something like (Lynyrd Skynyrd’s) “Free Bird” and do my own versions of some classic things that I think would make good rock ‘n’ roll songs.”
She also discussed the picture she posted on Instagram of her hugging Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger back in the ’70s:
“Yeah, I loved him and I love “Satisfaction.” I’m hoping we’re both around long enough when I get to doing this record that he’ll come sing with me, and I may have to use The Rolling Stones to play behind me.
I might do something like that — try to get some different rock bands, some of the classic bands, to back me on some of the songs I do and then do two or three or four originals.
I’d like to get in with some of the great rock groups and do some things, (but) I’ve been working so hard on so many things and I’ve got to overcome this so-called controversy, which I never meant it to be that.
So now I’m in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. So I’m going to have to do a rock album at some point. … Now I may have to call my album Rock Star!”