Click to listen

Click to listen

Sept. 7: The signature anthem of hard-working Americans, and an obvious choice for Labor Day. It’s kickoff — chicken-pickin’ guitar licks from the great James Burton — is one of the most recognizable in country music, and the musical and lyrical quality continues for the next 2:34.

“Workin’ Man Blues” was one of three great songs on the 1969 album A Portrait of Merle Haggard, along with “Silver Wings” and “Hungry Eyes.”  As music critic Mark Deming wrote for Allmusic: “(M)ost country artists would be happy to cut three tunes this strong during the course of their career, let alone as part of one of six albums Hag would release in 1969.” My father had that album, and we wore the grooves down, it got played so much.

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