Big City (Merle Haggard album)

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Big City
Studio album by Merle Haggard
Released October 1981
Recorded July 1981
Genre Country
Length 39:28
Label Epic
Producer Merle Haggard
Merle Haggard chronology
Songs for the Mama That Tried
Big City
A Taste of Yesterday's Wine
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B[2]

Big City is an album by Merle Haggard, released in 1981. It was his debut on the Epic label after ending his association with MCA. Big City peaked at number three on the Billboard Country Album charts and number 161 on the Pop Album charts. It was an RIAA-certified Gold album.[3]


Big City was recorded in a two-day marathon recording session that produced enough songs for this release, plus Haggard’s 1982 release, Going Where the Lonely Go. The songs continue Haggard’s often-used themes surrounding the struggle of the working man amid the complexities and challenges of urban life.

Big City bore two No. 1 singles: the title track and “My Favorite Memory.” The other single release, “Are the Good Times Really Over (I Wish a Buck Was Still Silver),” peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart and also won the Academy of Country Music 1982 Song of the Year. Another track, “I Always Get Lucky With You,” would be recorded by George Jones, whose version reached the top of the Hot Country Singles chart in 1983.

The CD re-issue includes two bonus tracks: “Call Me” and “I Won’t Give Up My Train” (a duet with Roger Miller).

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Big City" (Merle Haggard, Dean Holloway) – 3:01
  2. "My Favorite Memory" (Merle Haggard) – 3:06
  3. "Good Old American Guest" (Merle Haggard) – 2:36
  4. "I Think I'm Gonna Live Forever" (B. Binion, Merle Haggard, Dennis Hromek) – 2:29
  5. "This Song Is Mine" (Merle Haggard) – 2:33
  6. "Stop The World & Let Me Off" (Carl Belew, W. S. Stevenson) – 3:18
  7. "Are the Good Times Really Over (I Wish a Buck Was Still Silver)" (Merle Haggard) – 4:14
  8. "Texas Fiddle Song" (Leona Williams) – 2:19
  9. "You Don't Have Very Far To Go" (Merle Haggard, Red Simpson) – 3:14
  10. "I Always Get Lucky With You" (Gary Church, Merle Haggard, Freddy Powers) – 3:31
  11. "Call Me" (Uncredited) – 4:18
  12. "I Won't Give Up My Train" (Mark Yeary) – 4:43


  • Merle Haggard – guitar, vocals
  • Jimmy Belkin – fiddle
  • Roy Nichols – guitar, harmonic
  • Biff Adam – drums
  • Norm Hamlet – steel guitar, dobro
  • Dennis Hromek – bass
  • Tiny Moore – fiddle, mandolin
  • Bobby Wayne – guitar, background vocals
  • Leona Williams – background vocals
  • Mark Yeary – piano
  • Slyde Hyde – trombone
  • Don Markham – trumpet, saxophone

Production notes[edit]

  • Produced by Merle Haggard
  • Engineered by Lewis Talley
  • Mastered by Chris Athens

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1981) Peak
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums 3
U.S. Billboard 200 161