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Single Of The Day-Merle Haggard “Kentucky Gambler”

Greetings from Asheville, where good music is always found on the turntable, in the CD player, or in the MP3 player.  Today’s Single Of The Day comes from the incredible hit list of the legendary Merle Haggard.

Merle Haggard had an amazing run, during the period of 1967 to 1977.  During that time, beginning with the number two single “I Threw Away The Rose”, every single Merle released peaked no lower than three, except two, the 1970 instrumental hit, “Street Singer”, which peaked at nine; and the 1976 single, “Here Comes The Freedom Train”, a number ten hit.  All told, thirty-four singles that peaked in the top three, including twenty-four number one hits.  Today’s Single Of The Day is one of those twenty-four, in fact, it was the nineteenth number one for Merle Haggard.

Though Merle is an outstanding songwriter, having written several of his own hits, along with a few for other artists, he also scored several hits from the pens of other writers, as well, as is the case of “Kentucky Gambler”, a song written by Dolly Parton.  The story of a man who tries to get more out of life than a coal mining job by gambling, he becomes good enough to try his hand in Nevada, where he eventually loses it all, and not only that, he’s also lost his family to another man, back in Kentucky.  Capitol issued the single in the Fall of 1974.  Debuting in November, it would hit number one in January, 1975.

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