Country traditionalist Joe Nichols has launched an online performance series titled “Merle Mondays,” in which the Arkansas native pays tribute to the music of country legend Merle Haggard. The first edition premiered Monday, April 20th, and featured the “Brokenheartsville” singer’s rendition of “You Take Me for Granted.” This week’s installment featured a cover of “My Favorite Memory.”
A solo Haggard composition from the 1981 album Big City, “My Favorite Memory” went on to become the singer’s 25th Number One hit. In it he recalls several happy memories such as “the winter we spent on Lake Shasta alone” and how they’re no match for the overall memory of that person, who seems to no longer be there. “They say time changes all it pertains to/But your memory is stronger than time,” Nichols sings, imbuing it with his signature warmth and stylistic flair as he’s joined by producer-guitarist Brent Rowan.
The idea for the series spun out of Nichols’ participation in the #DeepCutsChallenge on Instagram, in which Blake Shelton challenged him to sing and he pulled out Haggard’s “If I Could Only Fly.”
Nichols’ most recent album Never Gets Old was released in 2017 via Broken Bow subsidiary Red Bow Records. Singles from the project included the title track and “Billy Graham’s Bible.”