Merle Haggard Tribute: 10 Best Things We Saw

From Keith Richards' heartfelt "Sing Me Back Home" to Miranda Lambert's aching "Misery and Gin"

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John Anderson,
Jordan O'Donnell8/10

John Anderson, "Big City"

Haggard wrote and recorded "Big City," an appeal for a simpler, slower-paced life, in 1982 after his bus driver Dean Holloway made a disparaging comment about Los Angeles. It proved to be a perfect choice for reliable traditionalist John Anderson – whose 1982 album Wild and Blue put him on the map with the hit title track and "Swingin'" – and his signature pillow-soft Florida drawl that added a touch of wistful regret to the performance. Rather than dreaming about escaping to the big, open vistas of Montana, Anderson evoked a man giving up those dreams and feeling the concrete jungle's noose slowly tightening around his neck. J.F.

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