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Reba McEntire Sings Tear-Jerking Cover of Merle Haggard's 'Mama Tried' (Video)

Bettina Dizon
May 21, 2019
10:17 A.M.
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Reba McEntire honored the late Merle Haggard with a “Mama Tried” cover, leaving listeners in tears.


Country music icon, Reba McEntire, paid tribute to the man who has poured his heart and soul into country music, making it what it is today. She sang Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried;” a song McEntire loved and listened to since her younger years in Oklahoma.


Haggard was more than a music icon to McEntire, but also a source of inspiration and significant influence during her childhood. 

“A lot of people ask me all the time, ‘Who are my musical influences?’” McEntire told her audience. “There was another guy from Oklahoma -- I had every album he ever put out. My older brother Pake and my little sister Susie and me, we sang every song he did… because Merle Haggard was a great influence on all of us.”


Haggard lived an exciting life after serving time in San Quentin Prison. He came out a changed man and rose to fame in the industry of country music having “Mama Tried” as the most prominent hit remaining at number one for four weeks after its release in July 1968.

The song tells his story of how his mother, who single-handedly provided for their family after his father died of a stroke, tried to tame Haggard’s wild soul and keep him away from trouble despite her multiple failures.


His colorful life kept him writing songs which inspired many people. In 2015, the country star was diagnosed with pneumonia, causing him to postpone a few concerts.

A year later, he was again diagnosed with double pneumonia, which brought his life to an end after complications couldn’t be handled.

Months ago, “Kern River Blues,” Haggard’s last recorded song which revolved around his life in Bakersfield, California in the ‘70s, was released to the public.