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"Going Where The Lonely Go" paid off for Haggard

November 24, 2021 at 10:00 p.m.
Merle Haggard

This week in 1884, Swiss-born scientist John B. Meyenberg of St. Louis, Missouri, came up with an idea that earned him a patent: evaporated milk; This week in 1949, "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" appeared on the music charts and became THE musical hit of the Christmas season. Although Gene Autry's rendition is the most popular, 80 different versions of the song have been recorded, with nearly 20,000,000 copies sold; and this week in 1982, a singer from Oildale, California, was about to have his 30th No. 1.

A lot of songs have been written because of something that someone was told or overheard. And according to Merle Haggard, his 1983 No. 1 "Going Where The Lonely Go" was one of those tunes.

As the story goes, the idea came from Haggard's friend Dean Holloway as the two were leaving Britannia Studios after a recording session. Merle asked Dean where he was going and the reply was, "well, I'm going where the lonely go." The line struck a chord with Haggard and he finished the song in just a few days and recorded it a few days later.

Merle Haggard's Epic single "Going Where The Lonely Go" came on the country charts Oct. 23, 1982 and made it to the top of the charts Jan. 15, 1983.

It was his 73rd charted song and his 30th No. 1.

Haggard placed 106 songs on the country music charts between 1963 and 2015, including 38 No. 1s.

Twelve of his 106 country charted songs also placed on the pop charts.

His 106 charted singles included duets with Bonnie Owens, Leona Williams, Clint Eastwood, Johnny Paycheck, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Janie Fricke, Jewel and Gretchen Wilson.

He was inducted into The Country Music Hall Of Fame in 1994 and received Kennedy Center Honors in 2010. He received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement in 2006.

Haggard was named Entertainer Of The Year by The CMA and ACM in 1970.

Merle Haggard died in 2016.

Join Doug Davis from 6 a.m. to noon weekend mornings on KPIG-FM Radio – 103.9 -- for "Roots of Country" on Saturdays and Sundays for "Sunday Country." You can also listen online at

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