Vince Gill just delivered the most moving Merle Haggard tribute song at the Grand Ole Opry YouTube/Grand Ole Opry
YouTube/Grand Ole Opry

Vince Gill’s world changed forever on April 6. That was the day his hero, Merle Haggard, passed away.

Vince was in Georgia on tour with this band, The Time Jumpers, when he got the news about Merle. The loss was so devastating to Vince, he sat down and wrote our first official tribute song since Merle passed — “A World Without Haggard.”

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Vince and ace steel guitar player Paul Franklin recently debuted the song on the Grand Ole Opry. In this stripped-down performance, you can clearly hear just how foundational Merle Haggard’s songwriter and artistry still are to Vince.

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He sings, “He taught me how to play the guitar, and write a country song.”

The song continues —

“I’m lost in a world without Haggard
Who’ll tell the truth to you and me?
Oh, I’m lost in a world without Haggard
It’s a world I thought I would never see.”

To hear just how deep Vince and Paul Franklin’s love for Merle Haggard goes, just check out their tribute album to Merle and Buck Owens, titled “Bakersfield.”

Hunter Kelly is a senior correspondent for Rare Country. Follow him on Twitter @Hunterkelly.
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