On October 10th, 1969, Merle Haggard and his famous backing band The Strangers rolled into Muskogee, Oklahoma to play the Muskogee Civic Center for a packed house. Just two weeks previous, on September 25th, Haggard had officially released the song “Okie From Muskogee” as a single.
Okie From Muskogee
he Grammy Awards have selected 25 songs to be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in their latest class, and this year’s inductees are offered with a heavy heart since it includes selections from many notable artists who have passed away in 2016, including Prince’s “Sign ‘O’ The Times,” David Bowie’s “Changes,” and Merle Haggard’s “Okie From Muskogee.”
Like most of the overused song formulas employed by Music Row songwriters, the laundry list likely started with some good, creative, innovative tunes. But once something works, it is called upon again and again by Music Row until all creativity is spent and it becomes cliche. Such is the evolution (or devolution) of the country checklist song.