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Merle Haggard received the honor of a lifetime just days before his death Getty Images
Getty Images

The late Merle Haggard was honored in more ways than one.

Most recently, the country outlaw was recognized for his chart-topping classic, “Mama Tried.”

RELATED: Country music has just lost the legendary Merle Haggard

On March 30, 2016, “Mama Tried” was hand-picked by Librarian of Congress David S. Mao as one out of 24 other sound recordings that now belong to a class of preserved items in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry.

“These recordings, by a wide range of artists in many genres of music and in spoken word, will be preserved for future listeners,” said Mao in a press release. “This collection of blues, jazz, rock, country and classical recordings, interspersed with important recordings of sporting events, speeches, radio shows and comedy, helps safeguard the record of what we’ve done and who we are.”

Penned by the legendary icon himself, the song was the first single off Merle’s album of the same name. Released on July 22, 1968, the song rose to No. 1 and was his fifth and biggest hit of that time. Not only that, Merle also won a Grammy Hall Of Fame Award for the cut in 1999.

Now, “Mama Tried” is the only country song to be added to this year’s eclectic mix of titles. Each song and non-song was specially chosen by Mao for its “artistic, cultural and/or historical” value to American society.

RELATED: The country music community is in deep, deep mourning over the loss of Merle Haggard

Merle died on April 6, 2016, which was his 79th birthday.

Nashville-based writer and Rare Country contributor Melinda Lorge has always been passionate about country music. Follow her @MelindaLorge and join the conversation @RareCountry.
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