Fender / YouTube
While Merle Haggard may no longer be with us, the spirit of the country music legend lives on through the voices of the talented children he left behind. The youngest of the country legend’s three sons, Ben Haggard, carries his father’s torch with a masterful rendition of his father’s song, “Footlights.”
“I think being simplistic is something that people forget about,” says Ben in a commercial for Fender guitars. “It’s just if I feel like there’s something that I want to portray, an acoustic is gonna be the immediate grab.”
After giving his explanation of why he chose to cover his father’s classic using an acoustic guitar, Ben took a passionate approach to the country ballad, emotion pouring out through each and every lyric. Armed with his acoustic guitar, the talented 24-year-old showed off his killer vocals in a manner highly reminiscent of his father.
By the time Merle released “Footlights” in 1979, the country icon had spent almost half his life performing professionally and was beginning to feel a bit worn down. The singer released the song for his album Serving 190 Proof, telling the story of a musician who doesn’t enjoy performing as much as he used to but feels there’s no other option in life than to keep on getting up on stage night after night.
You can listen to Ben’s rendition of “Footlights” below.