PBS / YouTube
As two of the leading country stars of their era, it was basically inevitable that Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard would meet at some point. When that first meeting finally occurred, it marked the start of a decades-long friendship.
Nelson and Haggard teamed up on numerous occasions over the years, and released several collaborative albums. Their last release was 2015’s Django & Jimmie, which topped the country albums chart and secured the seventh spot on the all-genre albums chart.
Django & Jimmie wasn’t just the last album that Nelson and Haggard released together. It was the final album Haggard released before his death on April 6, 2016. After Haggard’s passing, the material from Django & Jimmie took on a whole new level of importance.
Thanks to the PBS program American Epic Sessions, we finally got the chance to see what went into the creation of that all-important album. In June 2017, the network released a previously unseen clip of Nelson and Haggard singing one of the tracks off of Django & Jimmie.
Gathered together in a recording studio designed to look like the pre-electrical days, Nelson and Haggard sang their duet “The Only Man Wilder Than Me.” The song was written entirely by Haggard, and takes on sort of a call and response style that allows the two friends to communicate naturally through the lyrics.
You can tell how much fun Nelson and Haggard were having based on the way they interacted during the duet. They were often caught smiling, and even looked like they were trying to keep themselves from laughing. It’s clear from watching this that their friendship was a powerful thing.
Now it’s time for you to enjoy this previously never before seen footage of Nelson and Haggard singing their duet “The Only Man Wilder Than Me.” We will always love watching them sing together.
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