How Alan Jackson Found Out Merle Haggard Hated His Mom’s Pie

Getty Images / David Redfern, Beth Gwinn, Redferns

Two icons from the annals of country music, Alan Jackson and Merle Haggard, share a great deal of history together – including many performances, events, award shows, and even special behind-the-scenes memories that the general public hasn’t been privy to.

Back in the day, very early on in Jackson’s career, Merle was actually being billed as the opening act for him while out on a tour.

“He opened for me, believe it or not, which was very strange,” Jackson told The Tennessean in a 2021 interview about his album Where Have You Gone.

“It felt weird going on after Merle. It was such a treat having him out there. He’s just so classy.”

Jackson, who had learned quickly that he enjoyed having some home comforts with him while traveling (like certain homemade foods), always had a specific lemon icebox pie made from his mom’s own recipe.

“[The pie] was one of my favorites, but not everybody likes it, you know,” Jackson continued. “I just remember one time we came into catering and Merle’s sittin’ in there and the guys said, ‘Merle, how’s the food today?'”

“[He said], ‘Oh, it’s pretty good, but don’t eat that god—n yella pie!'” Jackson said, chuckling at the memory.

Icebox pies are an old staple from back in the 1950s and are a particular favorite amongst Southerners. Alan, having grown up in Georgia, has a strong penchant for them.

“I never did tell him that was my mama’s pie,” the country superstar admits. “He was just that way. He was crazy. He was funny.”

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