Country Music

Merle Haggard’s Reworked Interpretation of “That’s The Way Love Goes”

Merle Haggard, renowned for his skillful renditions of classic songs, notably covered “That’s the Way Love Goes,” a piece originally penned in 1973 by the iconic Lefty Frizzell and songwriter Sanger D. Shafer. This song first found its voice through Johnny Rodriguez the same year, featuring in his album “All I Ever Meant to Do was Sing.” Rodriguez’s rendition resonated widely, propelling the song to the pinnacle of the US charts and making a significant impact on the Canadian chart as well.

A decade later, Merle Haggard introduced his version on his thirty-eighth album, also titled “That’s the Way Love Goes.” Haggard’s cover was a resounding success, ascending to the number one spot on both US and Canadian charts. The album itself achieved notable success, reaching number eight on the US Billboard chart. Beyond chart success, Haggard’s rendition earned him the Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance in 1984, highlighting his unique interpretative talent.

The song’s appeal extended beyond Haggard and Rodriguez, inspiring other artists to craft their versions. In 1974, Connie Smith included it in her album of the same name. Even Lefty Frizzell, one of the song’s original composers, couldn’t resist recording his take on it. Merle Haggard revisited the song in 1999, this time collaborating with Jewel. Their duet version was released as a single, achieving a respectable position at number fifty-six on the Billboard country chart.

This collaboration between Jewel and Merle Haggard was part of a larger project, Haggard’s album “Merle Haggard: For the Record,” which comprised forty-three songs. In this expansive collection, Haggard re-recorded some of his earlier singles alongside various artists, including Willie Nelson, Brooks & Dunn, and Alabama. Among these collaborations, Jewel and Haggard brought their unique styles to two songs: “Silver Wings” and “That’s the Way Love Goes.” Their live performance of these tracks at the 1999 CMA Awards was a memorable highlight, showcasing the timeless nature of Haggard’s music and its influence across generations of artists.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *