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Released on July 22, 1968, as the first single from the album of the same name, “Mama Tried” shot to number one on the country music charts by the August of 1968. Written by Merle Haggard and recorded on Capitol Records with The Strangers, “Mama Tried” would become one of his most successful songs of all time. The single’s album, Mama Tried, eventually won the 1999 Grammy Hall of Fame award. Merle Haggard wrote “Mama Tried” while serving a two-year sentence in San Quentin for robbery and represents a classic example of his style of music called Outlaw Country (also known as the Bakersfield Sound). (songfacts.com) The song expresses his acceptance of responsibility for all the heartache he caused his mother, a devout Christian, who tried to raise him to be good. Merle rebelled often and spent time as a youth in and out of juvenile hall. In fact, he and a friend escaped juvenile hall one time and went to Modesto, CA where he played his first professional gig for $5 and free beer at a cinderblock dive bar called the Fun Zone. (cerescourier.com) Merle was born April 6, 1935 and died on his birthday, April 6, 2016.