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Merle Haggard’s ‘Mama Tried’ Included on National Recording Registry List

Song added to the exclusive list 14 days before the artist died

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Released in 1968, Merle Haggard wrote and recorded “Mama Tried,” a song about how his stay in San Quentin jail in ’57 affected his mother. The song went to No. 1 on Billboard‘s country charts; and has since been covered by a diverse range of artists, including the Grateful Dead, the Everly Brothers, and Joan Baez. Here’s a live version of the late Haggard doing the song.