The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde (song)

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"The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde"
Single by Merle Haggard
from the album The Legend of Bonnie & Clyde
B-side Today I Started Loving You Again
Released February 1968
Format 7"
Recorded January 31, 1968 ("The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde")
February 1, 1968 ("Today I Started Loving You Again")
both Capitol Recording Studio,
Hollywood, California
Genre Country
Length 2:06 ("The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde")
2:20 ("Today I Started Loving You Again")
Label Capitol 2219
Writer(s) Merle Haggard
Bonnie Owens
Producer(s) Ken Nelson
Merle Haggard singles chronology
"Sing Me Back Home"
(1967)
"The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde"
(1968)
"Mama Tried"
(1968)

"The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde'" is the title of a song written by American country music artists Merle Haggard and Bonnie Owens and performed by Haggard. It was released in January 1968 as the first single and title track from the album The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde. The song was Haggard's fourth number one on the U.S. country singles chart. The single spent two weeks at number one and a total of 14 weeks on the country chart.[1]

The song is a condensed biography of the famed outlaw duo Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, starting from the time they met to their violent death in an ambush.

B-side: "Today I Started Loving You Again"[edit]

The B-side of the single was "Today I Started Loving You Again." A ballad composed by Haggard and Bonnie Owens, the song neither charted on its own as a single nor was listed as a flip-side "tag-along" hit. Nonetheless, "Today I Started Loving You Again" became one of Haggard's most popular songs and would be a staple of classic country music radio stations' playlists.

Allmusic reviewer Bill Janovitz noted that, while many of his songs spoke of prison or the outlaw image, Haggard was "capable of writing devastating songs about heartbreak and human nature," and cited "Today I Started Loving You Again" as a prime example: "Over a loping acoustic guitar, Haggard begins the refrain in his most tender and vulnerably boyish voice (Today I started loving you again/I'm right back where I've really always been/I got over you just long enough to let my heartaches mend/And today, I started loving you again)." Janovitz particularly noted the chord used at the lyric just long enough, "a country music classic, if not a cliché, but one that induces shivers; you know it is coming, but there's still no preparing for it -- some things just work"[2]

"Today I Started Loving You Again" has been recorded by more than 400 artists, representing multiple genres,[3] from country music (Willie Nelson) to pop (Tom Jones and The Lettermen) and numerous others.

Chart performance[edit]

Released in February 1968, The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde became Haggard's fourth No. 1 song on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart in April. The song spent two weeks at No. 1.

Chart (1968) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 3

Covers[edit]

The song was covered by a number of other artists, including Tammy Wynette.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 146. 
  2. ^ Janovitz, Bill, "Today I Started Loving You Again," Allmusic. Accessed 06-19-2014.[1]
  3. ^ "Merle Haggard biography," Rolling Stone. Accessed 06-19-2014. [2]
Preceded by
"Fist City" by Loretta Lynn
Billboard Hot Country Singles number-one single
April 27, 1968 - May 4, 1968
Succeeded by
"Have a Little Faith" by David Houston