The Roots of My Raising

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The Roots of My Raising
The Roots of My Raising.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 1976
ProducerKen Nelson, Fuzzy Owen
Merle Haggard and The Strangers chronology
My Love Affair with Trains
The Roots of My Raising
Songs I'll Always Sing

The Roots of My Raising is the 21st studio album by American country singer Merle Haggard and The Strangers, released in 1976. It was his third release in 1976 and his last on the Capitol label until his return in 2004. It reached number 8 on the Billboard country albums chart.


The album includes Haggard's last #1 hit of the decade, "Cherokee Maiden," a song written by Cindy Walker. It spent 11 weeks on the charts, reaching #1.[1] The Tommy Collins-written title track had also gone to #1, Haggard's ninth consecutive chart topper stretching back to 1973 and twenty-third number one overall. The album also features material originally recorded by Jimmie Rodgers and Lefty Frizzell, two of Haggard's biggest musical influences.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars [2]

Thom Jurek of AllMusic enthuses that Haggard's final Capitol album was "a hell of a way to go out" and calls "What Have You Got Planned Tonight, Diana," "one of Haggard's most overlooked gems."[2] In his essay for the 1994 Haggard box set Down Every Road, music journalist Daniel Cooper observes, "While the #1 hits had not dried up for Merle, and while he still had the power to slay on isolated non-hits like 'What Have You Got Planned Tonight, Diana,' his overall output the last years on Capitol had started to sound a bit uninspired."[3]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "The Roots of My Raising" (Tommy Collins)
  2. "What Have You Got Planned Tonight, Diana" (Dave Kirby)
  3. "Waltz You Saved for Me" (Gus Kahn, Wayne King, Emil Flindt)
  4. "Walk on the Outside" (Kirby, Chuck Howard)
  5. "Gambling Polka Dot Blues" (Jimmie Rodgers, Roy E. Hall)
  6. "Cherokee Maiden" (Cindy Walker)
  7. "Am I Standing in Your Way" (Merle Haggard)
  8. "Colorado" (Kirby)
  9. "I Never Go Around Mirrors" (Lefty Frizzell, Sanger D. Shafer)
  10. "Mississippi Delta Blues" (Rodgers, Jack Neville)


The Strangers:


  • Dave Kirby – guitar
  • Bobby Wayne – guitar
  • Dennis Hromek – bass
  • Johnny Gimble – fiddle


Chart positions[edit]

Year Chart Position
1977 Billboard Country albums 8


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 147.
  2. ^ a b Jurek, Thom. "The Roots of My Raising > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  3. ^ Down Every Road 1962–1994 compilation album. Liner notes by Daniel Cooper