Calling it a “country song” doesn’t seem to do it justice, and almost inadvertently downgrades the impact and importance of the artistic work known as “Pancho & Lefty,” because few other songs can make us feel like this one can. It’s transcendent of country, or song, or even music. It’s “Pancho & Lefty.”
Pancho & Lefty
Unlike Townes, Daniel never received significant recognition for his music, partly because he quickly became disenchanted with the business, eventually running away to France to escape the heavy drugs and the pressure of being a professional songwriter. “I saw the competition in Nashville, just when I was really yearning for something spiritual like so many people do.”
Of all the country music greats, Merle’s story might be the most symbolic of the American experience: from growing up in California as the son of Okie parents during The Depression, to spending time in prison, to becoming a rags to riches story. When it comes to influencing country music itself, few this side of Hank Williams can say they’ve left a bigger footprint.
#1 hits, Bob Wills, cancer, CBS Records, Escaping from jail, Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Johnny Cash, Me and Crippled Soldiers Give A Damn, Merle Haggard, Pancho & Lefty, Rick Blackburn, San Quentin, The Bakersfield Sound, The Byrds, The Grateful Dead, Willie Nelson