Merle Haggard & Kris Kristofferson Tackle “Big City” In 2011 Duet

Merle Haggard & Kris Kristofferson Tackle “Big City” In 2011 Duet | Classic Country Music | Legendary Stories and Songs Videos

unstrictvids / YouTube

Merle Haggard Showcases Songwriting Talent In “Big City”

If you ever needed proof of Merle Haggard’s skill as a songwriter, look no further than his song “Big City.”

The Wall Street Journal told the story in an article published in 2014. You’re about to be blown away if you’ve never heard it.

In 1981, Haggard and his band spent a two-day stretch recording songs at a studio in Los Angeles. On a break, Haggard left to check on his friend and bus driver, Dean Holloway, who was still on the bus.

Haggard asked Holloway how he was doing. Holloyway responded, “I hate this place. I’m tired of this dirty old city.”

That remark sparked a fire in Haggard, and he started writing a song.

Merle Haggard demonstrated his songwriting genius in the track "Big City"
Paul Natkin / Getty Images


While working on the new piece, Haggard asked Holloway where he’d rather be. Holloway responded:

If it were up to me, it’d be somewhere in the middle of damn Montana.”

A portion of that statement became part of Haggard’s song too.

After Haggard finished scribbling out the song, he rushed to the studio and told his band to get their instruments back out. They recorded the song in one take, without bothering to rehearse it beforehand.

That song was “Big City,” which went on to become Haggard’s 27th #1 hit. He credited Holloway as a writer, and he ended up earning nearly $500,000 in royalties.

Watch Merle Haggard Perform A Duet With Kris Kristofferson

Although the song was released in the 1980s, it remained a fan-favorite part of Haggard’s sets into the last years of his life. While he performed it alone 99.9% of the time, there was one show where he was joined by a special guest and friend, Kris Kristofferson.

While Haggard sang independently for most of the performance, Kristofferson occasionally jumped in to lend some backing vocals. Kristofferson’s main source of support was through his guitar playing. That, and his incredibly infectious smile.

In fact, Haggard couldn’t seem to stop smiling during the performance either. He and Kristofferson were clearly having a fun time playing together. In turn, anyone who watches the video of their performance has a fun time too.

Check out the duo’s performance of “Big City” in the video below.

Share on Facebook Share on Facebook

Don’t Miss Out! Sign up for the Latest Updates