Merle Haggard Brings Traditional Night Show to Cheyenne Frontier Days (July 22, 2012)
The Merle Haggard show at Frontier Park on Sunday night, (July 22, 2012), was like stepping back in time. The legendary Oklahoma singer had the audience singing along to hits like ‘White Line Fever,’ ‘Mama Tried’ and ‘Pancho and Lefty.’ (This review was originally published July 23, 2012)
(Merle Haggard passed away April 6, 2016. Here’s a few Grateful memories from his show at Frontier Park during the summer of 2012)
Merle Haggard hasn’t lost his sense of humor. He asked his band The Strangers to introduce themselves and they began shaking hands and talking to each other. Haggard then asked the Cheyenne Frontier Days crowd if they missed Johnny Cash before launching into a cover of ‘Folsom Prison Blues.’
He said he has a new album out, ‘Working in Tennessee,’ that’s disguised as a CD at stores. The Country Music Hall of Famer then sang the title track about his favorite Martin guitar he had donated to the Grand Ol’ Opry and then saw it floating down the street during the Nashville floods.
For all of the working people, Haggard sang ‘Working Man’s Blues’ from 1969 and for ‘all the drunks’ he performed ‘The Bottle Let Me Down.’ Haggard mentioned that he wasn’t familiar with Cheyenne’s marijuana laws before launching into his encore ‘Okie from Muskogee.’
A Wyoming flavor was added to the show by the opening act Chauncey Williams and The Younger Brothers band from Moorcroft.
The show closed with the emcee thanking everyone for coming and announcing to the crowd that t-shirts souvenirs were available at the exits.
The entire evening felt like it could have happened 40 years ago when our parents took us to Cheyenne Frontier Days to see the legends perform their music. It was a good old-fashioned traditional Night Show, thanks Merle!