Today’s Music Monday features Dwight Yoakam performing at Farm Aid IV, which took place in Indianapolis on April 7, 1990. This was the second of his three appearances on the Farm Aid stage, also performing at both Farm Aid II and Farm Aid VI. Check out his cover of Merle Haggard’s “Hungry Eyes,” which has interesting history behind it, as Wikipedia tells us:
During the late 1960s, Haggard released a series of recordings many critics have deemed to be not only some of his greatest works, but some of the most significant in the history of country music. “Hungry Eyes” — sometimes known as “Mama’s Hungry Eyes” — is one of those recordings.
According to genre historian Bill Malone, Haggard wrote the song as a tribute to his mother and the sacrifices she made for her family as a single mother (Haggard’s father having died when he was 9). The song itself is not autobiographical, Malone noted, as the Haggard family never lived in a labor camp.
However, “Hungry Eyes” is a tribute to Oklahomans and others who lived in labor camps during the Great Depression, the time period in which this song is set. “(I)t is Haggard’s way of commemorating a whole generation of Okies who persisted through persecution and suffering to transplant their culture to California,” Malone wrote.
Watch “Hungry Eyes” along with “Guitars, Cadillacs” from Dwight’s debut album below:
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