HomeEntertainmentMusicCountry Throwback: Tim McGraw and Chris Janson Belt Merle Haggard’s ‘Mama Tried’

Country Throwback: Tim McGraw and Chris Janson Belt Merle Haggard’s ‘Mama Tried’

by Emily Morgan
(Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)

Tim McGraw, Chris Janson, and Mark Collie paid tribute to outlaw country legend Merle Haggard when they performed his classic hit, “Mama Tried.”

Tim McGraw Recruits Chris Janson & Mark Collie For Epic Collab

While on his Soul2Soul Tour with Faith Hill, Tim McGraw was performing some epic jam sessions during his downtime. For this casual collab, McGraw enlisted Chris Janson and Mark Collie to help him sing an old-school cover of the classic tune. 

While performing for fans, McGraw shared a black and white video of the trio’s backstage performance. The clip opens with McGraw singing “Mama Tried” solo while his band members accompany him in the background. 

Later, Janson joins in with McGraw and sings along on the chorus. Their voices blend perfectly together, and Janson’s naturally classic country sound is an appropriate match for the rendition. 

Soon after, 61-year-old Collie jumps in to sing solo while McGraw and Janson stand by. It’s a special moment between the two since he’s written many songs for McGraw. 

Before the moment comes to an end, the trio concluded their performance by giving each other a chance to sing another short solo. It’s clear to onlookers that the group was having a great time as they paid tribute to a country music great. By the end of the performance, everyone was grinning, and Tim McGraw finished it by proclaiming, “Thank God for country music!”

Released in July 1968, “Mama Tried” was the first single off of Haggard’s album of the same title. The record was written solely by Haggard as the song is mostly autobiographical. Even though Haggard never spent life in prison without parole, he caused his mother some heartache with his rebellious ways.

The tune became a significant hit, with many outlaw country fans classifying it as one of Haggard’s most notable songs. It quickly claimed the top spot on the country charts in both the U.S. and Canada.