August 9: Merle Haggard released “Someday We’ll Look Back” in 1971

Merle Haggard Someday We'll Look Back

Someday We’ll Look Back is a terrific early-’70s LP from Merle Haggard, one that showcases not only his exceptional songwriting skills, but also his rich, subtle eclecticism.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (

Someday We’ll Look Back (live):


Released August 9, 1971
Recorded 1969 and 1970
Capitol Records Studio, Hollywood, CA
Genre Country
Label Capitol ST-835
Producer Ken Nelson

Someday We’ll Look Back is an album by American country singer Merle Haggard, released in 1971. It reached #4 on the Billboard Country album chart and #108 on the Pop album chart. The lead-off singles were “Someday We’ll Look Back” which peaked at #2 and “Carolyn” which reached #1.

Merle Haggard 1971

Much of the album is given over to ballads, including both lush, string-laden country-pop crossovers and simple, folky tunes, but there are also hints of twangy Bakersfield honky-tonk and blues, as well as western swing. But what really makes the record so distinctive is the quality of the material. Haggard’s original songs–including “Someday We’ll Look Back,” “Tulare Dust,” “I’d Rather Be Gone,” “One Sweet Hello”–are uniformly excellent, while he invests considerable emotion into covers of Tommy Collins’ “Carolyn,” Dallas Frazier and Elizabeth Montgomery’s “California Cottonfields,” and Roger Miller’s “Train of Life.” The result is one of the finest albums he ever recorded.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (

An honest two days’ work, but don’t let the keynote tune fool you into expecting a lot of class-conscious reminiscences. “California Cottonfields” and “Tulare Dust” are welcome, but this has its share of romantic pap, and the nostalgia of the title bubbles too close to the surface. Surprise: “Big Time Annie’s Square,” Hag’s peace with the hippies. B+
~Robert Christgau (

Tulare Dust:

Track listing:

All songs by Merle Haggard unless otherwise noted.

  1. “Someday We’ll Look Back”
  2. “Train of Life” (Roger Miller)
  3. “One Sweet Hello”
  4. “One Row at a Time” (Red Lane, Dottie West)
  5. “Big Time Annie’s Square”
  6. “I’d Rather be Gone”
  7. “California Cottonfield” (Dallas Frazier, Earl Montgomery)
  8. “Carolyn” (Tommy Collins)
  9. “Tulare Dust”
  10. “Huntsville” (Haggard, Red Simpson)
  11. “The Only Trouble With Me”

California Cottonfields:


  • Merle Haggard – vocals, guitar
  • Roy Nichols – guitar, harmonica
  • James Burton – guitar, dobro
  • Red Lane – guitar
  • Bobby Wayne – guitar
  • Tommy Collins – guitar
  • Glen Campbell – guitar
  • Lewis Talley – guitar
  • Norman Hamlet – pedal steel guitar, dobro
  • Dennis Hromek – bass
  • Willard Price – bass
  • Leon Copeland – bass
  • Chuck Berghofer – bass
  • Jerry Ward – bass
  • Biff Adam – drums
  • Eddie Burns – drums
  • Tommy Ash – drums
  • Johnny Gimble – fiddle
  • George French – piano
  • Glen D. Hardin – piano
  • Hargus “Pig” Robbins – piano