HomeEntertainmentMusicWATCH: Eric Church Explains How He Convinced Merle Haggard to Feature on Early Track in 2006 Interview

WATCH: Eric Church Explains How He Convinced Merle Haggard to Feature on Early Track in 2006 Interview

(Photo by Christopher Polk/ACMA2014/Getty Images for ACM)

Eric Church is heavily influenced by Merle Haggard when it comes to his music, so it would only make sense for the star to want Haggard to join him on a song.

In this throwback video, Eric Church explains that he got his start thanks to the music licensing company, BMI. Church is interviewing at the 2006 BMI Country Awards.

The country star is naturally excited about Haggard receiving the icon award. The young, long-haired Church happily tells the reporter that he has a song with Haggard coming up on his album.

“I’ve got a duet with Merle on my record, and it’s an honor to be here,” he says. “Merle heard there’s a song on the record called I ‘Pledge Allegiance to the Hag,’ which you gotta have Merle on. He heard it and we asked him would he be interested in signing it. He said ‘well I gotta hear it first.’ So he listened to it and liked what he heard. Even at that point in time, I think I would have been ok if he didn’t sing it as long as Merle Haggard tells you he likes what you’re doing.”

Church proudly finishes with, “It’s one of the highlights of my life.”

The song, “Pledge Allegiance to the Hag” featuring the late Merle Haggard made it on Church’s debut album “Sinners Like Me.” Further, his debut album in 2006 produced three singles on the Billboard country charts including the top 20 hits “How ‘Bout You”, “Two Pink Lines”, and “Guys Like Me”.

Eric Church Takes a Note from Haggard’s Music Book

Not only is the “Mr. Misunderstood” artist’s music influenced by Haggard, but so is his style and attitude. Church can be a little rough around the edges, even hard-nosed and rebel of country music.

Nowadays, Church can always be seen wearing his signature aviator glasses. Those and his swagger, are two of his first memories from meeting Haggard.

Church (Finally) Wins Entertainer of the Year

Church finally scores the awards he’s been waiting for, the CMA Entertainer of the Year award. It’s a highly coveted award that’s vied for each year at the CMA Awards.

Church’s name quite often makes the list, but he’s always the bridesmaid, never the bride. However, things turned around for the “Springsteen” singer. If one good thing comes out of 2020 for this Outsider, it’s this award.