Country Throwback: Watch Merle Haggard Perform ‘Running Kind’ and ‘The Fugitive’ in 1980 Concert

by Quentin Blount
Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images

We are featuring country music legend Merle Haggard in a country throwback. Today, we go back 40 years to 1980 when Haggard performed his songs “Running Kind” and “The Fugitive” live in concert.

The concert took place live in Anaheim, California at Anaheim Stadium in October of 1980. During the event, Haggard performs two of his most popular songs for his fans.

Haggard was also backed up with a large number of band members at the event. Also performing with haggard include Roy Nichols on guitar, Norman Hamlet on steel guitar, Don Markham on saxophone, Mark Yeary on piano, Gordon Terry on fiddle, Dennis Hromek on bass, Biff Adams on drums, Tiny Moore on fiddle mandolin, Ronnie Reno assisting on guitar, and Bonnie Owens and Ronnie Reno providing background vocals.

The performance definitely brings back some ’80s nostalgia. View a video clip of the performance below:

“The Fugitive,” also known as “I’m a Lonesome Fugitive,” became Haggard’s very first No. 1 song. It was released in December of 1966. The song connected with Haggard on a personal level because of his past prison stints — though, its writers, Liz and Casey Anderson, didn’t know of his history when they played it for him.

Further, Haggard’s song “Running Kind” was both written and recorded by Haggard and The Strangers. It was released back in January of 1978. That song was the second and final single from the album, A Working Man Can’t Get Nowhere Today. The hit track peaked at number 12 on the U.S. country singles chart and at number 10 on the Canadian country singles chart.

Film Is In The Works About Merle Haggard And His Life

The life and legacy of the country music icon will soon be immortalized in film. According to Deadline, Amazon Studios is making a movie about Haggard based on his memoir Sing Me Back Home.

The movie will be directed and written by Robin Bissell. Evidently, he is working closely with Haggard’s widow, Theresa Haggard, on the script.

During a career that lasted from the 1960s until his death in 2016, Haggard recorded more than 70 albums and had more than 30 No. 1 singles. He is known as “the Poet of the Common Man.”

In addition to his songs like “The Fugitive and “Running Kind,” the country legend is arguably most praised for hits like “Mama Tried” and “The Fightin’ Side of Me.”