Merle Haggard Was Asked to Join the Highwaymen, Declined Because of Money
Country music's famous group the Highwaymen consisted of Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson -- four of the reigning hitmakers of the '80s, all recording and touring together. But another superstar of the era, Merle Haggard, has revealed that he almost joined the Highwaymen as well.
"I was asked to become a fifth member," Haggard reveals to "Broadway's Electric Barnyard." "I turned it down because I said, 'Hell, it will cut the money down so the four of you guys won't even want to do it. But they did offer me a part."
Even though a spot in what has been dubbed the "supergroup" of country music may have boosted the Hag's career even more, it was his consideration of others that compelled him to walk away.
"When you're touring the world, you've got to take the economics into play," he explains. "It's going to cost a lot of money to do that and take people around. When you've got 15 to 20 people traveling with you, it's a big deal."
Haggard did join the Highwaymen's two living members, Kristofferson and Nelson, along with Blake Shelton, for a performance at the 2014 Grammy Awards. The quartet performed Haggard's hit "Okie From Muskogee," along with Nelson's chart-topping single "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys."
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