Soldier's Last Letter

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Soldier's Last Letter was a country music song written by Redd Stewart and Ernest Tubb and recorded by Ernest Tubb. It was released in the United States in 1944.[1]

Background and content[edit]

In 1941, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Redd was drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to the South Pacific. While stationed there with the rank of sergeant, Redd wrote "A Soldier's Last Letter”, which Ernest Tubb worked on and recorded in 1944, making it a No.1 hit staying at the top for four weeks out of a seven-month stay on the Country charts,[2] and crossing over to the Pop chart Top 20. The B-side of the Ernest Tubb recording of "Soldiers Last Letter" a song entitled, "Yesterday's Tears" peaked at number four on the Juke Box Folk chart. The song was also recorded by country music artist Hank Snow. Hank was from Nova Scotia, Canada so the last line in the song was changed to "And dear God keep our Canada free..."

Merle Haggard version[edit]

"Soldier's Last Letter"
Haggard - Soldiers Last Letter cover.jpg
Single by Merle Haggard
from the album Hag
B-side "Farmer's Daughter"
Released January 27, 1971
Format 7"
Genre Country
Label Capitol
Songwriter(s) Redd Stewart
Ernest Tubb
Producer(s) Ken Nelson
Merle Haggard singles chronology
"I Can't Be Myself"
"Soldier's Last Letter"
"Someday We'll Look Back"
"I Can't Be Myself"
"Soldier's Last Letter"
"Someday We'll Look Back"

Merle Haggard later had a hit single with the song in 1970. His version reached number three on the U.S. country chart and number four on the Canadian country chart. It also peaked at number ninety on the Hot 100.

Chart performance (Merle Haggard)[edit]

Chart (1971) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[3] 3
US Billboard Hot 100[4] 90
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 4


  1. ^ Redd Stewart
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 354. 
  3. ^ "Merle Haggard – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Merle Haggard.
  4. ^ "Merle Haggard – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Merle Haggard.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby" by Louis Jordan
Most Played Juke Box Folk Records
number one single by Ernest Tubb

September 2, 1944 - September 16, 1944 (four weeks)
Succeeded by
"Smoke on the Water" by Red Foley