One year ago Thursday (4-6), on Merle Haggard’s 79th birthday, the country music legend passed away surrounded by close family on his ranch in California. Merle Haggard left a mark on country music that was unparalleled, and his death still leaves a gaping hole in the hearts of many country music fans.
Aviator isn’t one of those albums you cherry pick through to the best songs. That would be like choosing a favorite child, because all of these songs are great and work so well together and in succession. This is one of those albums you put on for a long road trip or a restful backyard barbecue and then press repeat when you get to the end. It is the embodiment of that laid back Texoma flavor.
Every once in a while a song comes along in country music that really inspires you. ..and then there’s Toby Keith’s toast to the onset of idiocracy, “Red Solo Cup”. But believe it or not, the song did inspire Bo Phillips, brother of Stoney LaRue, whose video of a “Red Solo Cup” parody called “Blue Dixie Cup” recorded at the legendary Gruene Hall in Texas is making the rounds.