Alan Jackson Merle Haggard
Source: Alan Jackson photo courtesy Joe Burlas (public domain) via Wikimedia; Merle Haggard photo courtesy of _MG_8735 via Wikimedia

Alan Jackson has many great stories to share about his lengthy career in Country music. One of them is about his mother’s baking and Merle Haggard’s hilarious and brutal reaction to it.

The Country legends met early on in Jackson’s career. In fact, they were on tour together.

Jackson had to perform after Merle, which is a hard act to follow.

And, the two quickly bonded.

“He opened or me, believe it or not, which was very strange,” Alan Jackson remembers. “It felt weird going on after Merle. It was such a treat having him out there. He’s just so classy.”

Mama Ruth’s Lemon Pie

Jackson is promoting his new album “Where Have You Gone.” While speaking with The Tennessean, he recalled a memory with Merle that still makes him laugh decades later.

Alan Jackson wanted traditional country food.

He didn’t want fancy catering and his favorite dessert was his own mother’s inbox lemon pie.

Merle didn’t share the same affection for Mama Ruth’s lemon pie and he wasn’t afraid to voice his displeasure.

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“I just remember one time we came into catering and Merle’s sittin’ in there and the guys said, ‘Merle, how’s the food today?'” the singer said. “[He said], ‘Oh, it’s pretty good, but don’t eat that god**** yella pie!’

“He said don’t eat that yella pie,” Jackson said while laughing. “I never did tell him that was my mama’s pie. He was just that way. He was crazy. He was funny.”

Jackson certainly didn’t take offense to Merle’s comments.

After all, that meant more pie for him and it made for a great memory. 

Alan Jackson’s Tribute To Merle Haggard

After Merle’s death in 2016, Alan Jackson wanted to find a way to honor him.

That resulted in a tribute song on his latest album.

“That’s The Way Love Goes” is that song and it’s getting praise in the Country world.


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A post shared by Merle Haggard (@merlehaggardofficial)

The cover song was co-written by Lefty Frizzell and Haggard covered it in the 1980s.

Jackson gives a new spin on it in his 2021 album.

Alan Jackson is hoping his new album will help reinvigorate Country to return to his traditional roots.

Including a song for Merle adds a nice touch. 

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“I’ve been wanting to do something for Merle ever since he died,” Jackson said. “I think it’d been cut by a bunch of people but I always heard [Merle] did [“…Love Goes”] as a tribute to Lefty. … I did it kinda the same way, as a tribute to Merle.”

You can listen to Alan Jackson’s tribute to Merle Haggard in the video below.

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