Real fam­ily in­spired song, but it wasn’t Hag­gard’s

Texarkana Gazette - - ENTERTAINMENT - Doug Davis

This week in 1971: A snow­mo­bile record was set in Utah at 140.6 mph; Ja­pan agreed to curb the flow of tex­tiles into the U.S.; a fed­eral com­par­a­tive study showed that His­panic fam­i­lies earned more than blacks; and a singer from Bak­ers­field, Calif., had his 26th hit record.

Con­trary to pop­u­lar be­lief, Merle Hag­gard’s 1971 No. 1 “Daddy Frank” was not a true story, at least ac­cord­ing to one of Merle’s band mem­bers.

Norm Ham­let com­mented, “A lot of fans thought that the song was Hag’s life story, but that’s not true. The idea for that song came from The Mad­dox Broth­ers and Rose, who were a real trav­el­ing fam­ily band, con­sist­ing of Rose Mad­dox and her broth­ers. Merle changed the idea around, gave the daddy the name Frank and in the song he was a blind man. His wife, called “Momma,” was deaf and she drove the fam­ily truck.”

“Daddy Frank” was also one of Hag­gard’s first record­ings to fea­ture his road band with­out ex­tra ses­sion mu­si­cians, although the record did fea­ture Merle’s and his man­ager Fuzzy Owens’ chil­dren.

The ses­sion was recorded in Buck Owens’ Bak­ers­field stu­dio and en­tered the coun­try mu­sic charts Oct. 16, 1971, and was in the No. 1 spot on Nov. 20th—where it stuck for two weeks.

It was Hag­gard’s 10th No. 1, and was on the charts for 14 weeks.

Hag­gard placed 102 songs on the coun­try mu­sic charts be­tween 1963 and 2005— in­clud­ing duets with Clint East­wood, Johnny Pay­check, Leona Wil­liams, Janie Fricke, Wil­lie Nel­son and Gretchen Wil­son.

He was in­ducted into The Coun­try Mu­sic Hall Of Fame in 1994.

Merle Hag­gard died April 6, 2016, at age 79.

To sub­scribe to our free “Coun­try Mu­sic Clas­sics” email news­let­ter, send a blank email to coun­try-mu­sic-clas­sics-on@mail­list.

Doug Davis & The Good Ole Boys will per­form to­day at 10 a.m. at Bunch Wood­view


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