Prison Songs: Remembering Merle Haggard


April 12th, 2017 ~ American Routes explores the music associated with outlaws and life behind bars, from "Ball and Chain" to "Jailhouse Rock," from Johnny Cash's San Quentin show to Leadbelly's "Midnight Special." We revisit our 2000 interview with the late-Merle Haggard, and then talk to Aaron Neville about his experience with incarceration. Plus a visit to the "Wildest Show in the South"--the Angola, Louisiana Prison Rodeo.

Listen To Hour 1 Listen To Hour 2

Hour One   Hour Two  
  • Open Bed: Po Lazarus James Carter & the Prisoners
    O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack, Lost Highway
  • Folsom Prison Blues Johnny Cash
    Live at Folsom Prison, Sony
  • Riot in Cell Block #9 Wanda Jackson
    Vintage Collections, Capitol
  • He's in the Jailhouse Now Memphis Sheiks
    From Where I Stand , Warner
  • Prison Bound Robert Nighthawk
    The Aristocrat of the Blues, Chess/MCA
  • SEGMENT: Merle Haggard Part 1
  • Instrumental: If I Could Only Fly Merle Haggard
    If I Could Only Fly, Anti
  • SEGMENT: Merle Haggard Part 2
  • Cole Younger Edward L. Crain
    Anthology of American Folk Music, Smithsonian Folkways
  • Outlaw Blues Bob Dylan
    Bringing It All Back Home, Columbia
  • 21 Days in Jail Magic Sam
    Magic Sam 1957-1966, West Side Guitar, Cobra
  • Instrumental: Aurora En Pekin Marc Ribot Y Los Cubanos Postizos
    Marc Ribot Y Los Cubanos Postizos, Atlantic
  • El Mojado Los Hermanos Barron y Conjunto
    The Chicano Experience, Folklyric Records
  • The Tijuana Jail Johnny Bond
    The Best of Johnny Bond, Varese Vintage
  • Jailhouse Blues Dinah Washington
    Sings Bessie Smith, Verve
  • Jailhouse Rock Albert King
    King Does the King's Things, Stax
  • The Things I Used to Do James Brown
    James Brown: Messing the the Blues, Polydor
  • Have Mercy Judge Chuck Berry
    The Chess Box, Chess/MCA
  • Tipitina Allen Toussaint
    American Routes live recording,
  • Angola Bound Aaron Neville
    The Very Best of Aaron Neville, A&M
  • Parchman Farm Johnny Rivers
    Anthology 1964-1977, Rhino
  • SEGMENT: Angola Prison Farm Rodeo (Israel Ducree, Cliff Bowman, Harry Kursey, Alex Hinnis and Terry Hawkins)
  • Stewball Ed Lewis and Prisoners
    Southern Journey: 61 Highway Mississippi , Folkways
  • Chain Gang Sam Cooke
    Greatest Hits, RCA
  • Back On the Chain Gang Pretenders
    The Singles, Sire
  • Instrumental: Work Song Grant Green
    2 by 5 Guitar Jazz, 32 Jazz
  • SEGMENT: Aaron Neville
  • How Blue Can You Get BB King
    Live in Cook County Jail, MCA
  • Instrumental: Midnight Special Tiny Grimes
    Atlantic Rhythm and Blues 1947-1974 Box, Atlantic
  • Midnight Special Leadbelly
    From Where I Stand: The Black Experience in Country Music, Warner Bros.
  • Midnight Special Creedence Clearwater Revival
    Hot Stuff, Fantasy
  • I Shall Be Released Heptones
    Sea of Love, Rounder
  • I'm Goin Home Ervin Webb with Prisoners
    Southern Journey: 61 Highway Mississippi, Folkways
  • End Bed: Blues After All Jimmy Smith
    Retrospective, Blue Note