WATCH: Alan Jackson Reveals Special Reason Why He Added Merle Haggard Cover to New Album

by Katie Maloney

Even country music icons like Alan Jackson have heroes.

And Merle Haggard is one of them for Alan Jackson. In fact, he’s such a big fan of Haggard that he included a cover of one of Haggard’s most popular songs on his latest album, Where Have You Gone. Can you guess which song he covered? (No cheating! Don’t look at the post below). If you guessed “That’s the Way Love Goes,” then you’re right!

“That’s the Way Love Goes” became one of Merl Haggard’s most beloved songs. The song is a matter-of-fact statement of just what it means to be in love. During the song, Haggard (and now Jackson) sing, “That’s the way love goes, babe. That’s the music God made. For all the world to sing. It’s never old it grows.”

Alan Jackson Reveals Why He Chose to Cover ‘That’s the Way Love Goes’

In a recent video, Alan Jackson explained why he wanted to record the song for his new album.

“I’ve loved that song forever,” said Jackson. “It’s a great song and Lefty had the first hit on it. And Merle was a huge fan of lefty. He was like one of his heroes. He kind of patterned himself after Lefty’s singing styles, from how I’ve always heard it. So, Merle did it almost as a tribute to Lefty.”

The Lefty that Alan Jackson is referring to is American country music singer and songwriter Lefty Frizzell. Lefty soared to fame in the 1950s and was known for his laid-back singing style and honky tonk music. Merle Haggard was a huge fan of Lefty Frizzell, and Alan Jackson was a huge fan of Merle Haggard. So, as a tribute to his hero, Jackson chose to cover one of Haggard’s beloved songs on the album.

“And I’ve always loved the song. And when Merle died, I always wanted to do something for him,” said Jackson. “And then I just hand’ had an album I had to record. So, I just felt like I wanted to do it now. You can’t beat Merle’s cut on it, I wasn’t trying to do that. But I was proud to do it.”

Jackson Once Shared a Hilarious Story About Meeting Merle Haggard

Who doesn’t love a good celebrity-meeting story, especially when it involves two famous people? Well, Alan Jackson certainly delivers with this story about hanging out with Merle Haggard while they were on tour together. As the headlining act, Jackson could request pretty much anything he wanted from the tour’s caterers. So, he requested several of his favorite family recipes, including his mother’s lemon icebox pie.

Well, apparently, not everyone was a fan of the pie. And when we say “everyone” we mean Merle Haggard. One night, while the two were touring together someone asked Haggard about the dinner.

Haggard replied, “It’s pretty good, but don’t eat that god **** yella pie!”

Obviously, there were no hard feelings, since Jackson did include a cover of Haggard’s song on his latest album.

“He was just that way, he was crazy. He was funny,” said Jackson.