I would like to confess two things in this post:
1. I have a crush on young Merle Haggard, ca. 1960s/early 1970s.
2. My favorite version of the Merle Haggard song featured today is actually not by Merle Haggard. I confess that I like Whiskeytown’s cover of The Knitters cover of this song best.* In fact that version is one of my most favoritest songs to listen to. Ever.
I think the original is great, but the Whiskeytown version has a great guitar slide in it, along with some lovely ethereal pedal steel playing. However, I couldn’t find a video of it and am too lazy to make one currently. So we get the original, which I suppose is good and proper, except that it doesn’t actually have any guitar slides to speak of.
*Whiskeytown recorded this song on The Knitters tribute album, Poor Little Knitter on the Road, released by Bloodshot Records in 1999, which duplicated all of the tracks of The Knitters album, Poor Little Critter on the Road (1985). The Knitters were a country-ish side project of punk band X, featuring John Doe and Exene Cervenka.