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Mama Tried
Composer: Merle Haggard

Mama Tried was first performed by the Grateful Dead in June 1969. The song was played regularly through 1969 and 1970 and a few times in 1971. It was not performed at all in 1972, 1973 and 1975. From 1976 onward the song was performed every year but after 1985 there were never more than 10 outings in a year. In total the Grateful Dead performed the song over 300 times.

The original Merle Haggard recording of Mama Tried topped the country charts in August 1968. Haggard has said that the song is based on his own experiences and the effect of his time in prison on his mother who for a long time had been his family's sole provider;

She had a boy who was more than wild. I don't know what I'd have done with me if I had been the parent. I was a child that needed two parents and there was a period that came up that my mother just couldn't handle. My dad wasn't there and my older brother tried to step in and of course I resented that. It just got all confused and messed up. Mama certainly did try.


Merle Haggard

This list is not intended to be comprehensive.

info Mama Tried, Merle Haggard, 1968
no info Single (Mama Tried / You'll Never Love Me Now), Merle Haggard, 1968
info Okie from Muskogee, Merle Haggard, 1969
no info Single (I Take A Lot Of Pride In What I Am / Mama Tried), Merle Haggard, 1970
info The Best Of The Best, Merle Haggard, 1972
info Songs I'll Always Sing, Merle Haggard, 1976
no info The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Country Music, Various Artists, 1981
no info The Very Best of Merle Haggard, Merle Haggard, 1987
no info Country U.S.A.: 1968, Various Artists, 1989
no info More of the Best, Merle Haggard, 1990
no info Billboard Top Country Hits: 1968, Various Artists, 1990
info Country Pride, Merle Haggard, 1992
no info Greatest Hits, Merle Haggard, 1994
no info Super Hits, Vol. 2, Merle Haggard, 1994
no info #1 Hits, Merle Haggard, 1994
no info 24 at No. 1, Merle Haggard, 1995
info Untamed Hawk (Box set), Merle Haggard, 1995
info The Lonesome Fugitive: The Merle Haggard Anthology (1963-1977), Merle Haggard, 1995
info 20 Hits Special Collection, Vol. 1, Merle Haggard, 1995
info The Music Never Stopped: Roots of the Grateful Dead, Various Artists, 1995
info Jailhouse Rock, Various Artists, 1995
info Down Every Road, Merle Haggard, 1996
no info Vintage Collections Series, Merle Haggard, 1996
info I'm a Lonesome Fugitive/Mama Tried, Merle Haggard, 1996
no info The One & Only, Merle Haggard, 1996
no info Country's Most Requested Songs, Various Artists, 1996
no info 16 Biggest Hits, Merle Haggard, 1998
info For the Record: 43 Legendary Hits, Merle Haggard, 1999
no info Live At Billy Bob's Texas, Merle Haggard, 1999
no info Twelve #1 Hits, Vol. 1, Merle Haggard, 1999
no info A&E Biography, Merle Haggard, 1999
no info Classic Country: 1965-1974, Various Artists, 1999
no info Classic Country: Country Tradition, Various Artists, 1999
no info Classic Country: Outlaws, Various Artists, 1999
no info New Light Through Old Windows, Merle Haggard, 2000
no info Oh Boy Classics Presents: Merle Haggard, Merle Haggard, 2000
info Prison, Merle Haggard, 2001
no info Lonesome Fugitive Live, Merle Haggard, 2001
no info In Concert, Merle Haggard, 2001
info 20 Greatest Hits, Merle Haggard, 2002
info 20 Country Number Ones, Merle Haggard, 2002
no info 21 Years Of Number 1 Hits, Merle Haggard, 2002
no info 24 Greatest Hits, Merle Haggard, 2002
no info Best of Merle Haggard, Merle Haggard, 2002
info 40 #1 Hits, Merle Haggard, 2004
no info 20 Country Hits, Various Artists, 2004
no info 25 More Country Number 1's, Various Artists, 2004
no info Country Gold: 50 Years of Country Hits, 1965-69, Various Artists, 2004
no info David Allan Coe Presents...My Favorite Singers, Vol. 1, Various Artists, 2004
no info 11 #1 Hits, Merle Haggard, 2005
info Gold: Classic Country, Various Artists, 2005
no info Greatest Country Music Collection Ever, Various Artists, 2005
info Hag: The Best of Merle Haggard, Merle Haggard, 2006
info Mama Tried/Pride in What I Am, Merle Haggard, 2006
no info Live from Austin TX: 1985, Merle Haggard, 2006
no info Billboard #1s: Classic Country, Various Artists, 2006
no info Classic Country: Outlaws, Various Artists, 2006
no info Legends of American Music: The Original Outlaw, Merle Haggard, 2007
info Definitive Collection, Merle Haggard, 2007
no info Country Roads, Merle Haggard, 2007
no info Last of the Breed: Live in Concert, Willie Nelson/Merle Haggard/Ray Price, 2007
no info The Outlaws: Country Roads, Various Artists, 2007
no info Southern Outlaws: The Ultimate Southern Rock Collection, Various Artists, 2007
info Hag: The Capitol Recordings 1968-1976: Concepts, Live & the Strangers, Merle Haggard, 2008
no info Live at the Concord Pavillion, Merle Haggard & the Strangers, 2008
no info Merle Haggard Collector's Edition, Merle Haggard, 2008
no info 25 Best: Country Classics, Various Artists, 2008
no info Theme Time Radio Hour: With Your Host Bob Dylan, Various Artists, 2008
no info Live from the Last of the Breed Tour, Willie Nelson/Merle Haggard/Ray Price, 2009
no info Country Meets Southern Rock, Various Artists, 2009

Other recordings

info Roots, The Everly Brothers, 1968
info Next in Line, Conway Twitty, 1968
no info Born a Fool, Freddie Hart, 1968
no info The Instrumental Sounds of Merle Haggard's Strangers, The Strangers, 1969
no info Nashville Saxophones, Billy Vaughn, 1969
no info The Happy and Mellow Sax, Ace Cannon, 1969
no info Ray Pillow Sings, Ray Pillow, 1969
info The Everly Brothers Show, Everly Brothers, 1970
no info Me, S. David Cohen, David Blue, 1970
no info Songs that Made Country Girls Famous, Lynn Anderson, 1970
no info Songs Of Merle Haggard, The Buckaroos, 1971
no info That's You and Me, Hank Snow, 1974
no info Red Cadillac & Black Mustache, Bob Luman, 1975
no info The Best, Freddie Hart, 1975
no info Wonderful Day, Ray Pillow, 1975
no info Home and Away, Clive Gregson & Christine Collister, 1987
no info Country Store Collection, Boxcar Willie, 1988
no info Reba Live, Reba McEntire, 1989
no info Black Claw and Country Fever, Albert Lee, 1991
no info Hooked on Country, The Wood Brothers, 1991
no info Not Fade Away, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, 1992
no info Your Own Set of Rules, Terry Eldredge, 1992
info Rare, Live and Classic, Joan Baez, 1993
no info Heartaches & Harmonies, The Everly Brothers, 1994
no info 20 Greatest Hits, David Allan Coe, 1994
no info Cold War Kids, Tony Carey, 1994
no info Hitchhike to Rhome, Old 97's, 1994
no info Acoustic Celebration, Reno Brothers, 1994
info Mama's Hungry Eyes: Tribute To Merle Haggard, Various Artists (Alabama), 1994
no info The Singing Ranger, Vol. 4, Hank Snow, 1995
no info Jack Ingram, Jack Ingram, 1995
no info Country, Percy Sledge, 1995?
no info When a Man Loves a Woman, Percy Sledge, 1995
no info Back from the Dead, Roger Martin, 1995
no info Country Hit Kit, Nashville Super Guitars, 1995
no info Truckin' Outlaw, David Allan Coe, 1996
no info Tour From Hell (1973), Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, 1996
no info Undiscovered: The Early Years, Albert Lee, 1997
no info A Tribute to Tradition, Various Artists (Randy Travis), 1998
no info Live, Jed Clampit, 2000
no info 10 Years: 1968-1977, Bob Luman, 2000
no info Back Trackin', Lee Sims & the Platte River Band, 2000
info The Blues Tribute To The Grateful Dead, Various Artists (Langhorne Slim), 2001
info Sings Merle Haggard, David Allan Coe, 2002
no info The Original Outlaw of Country Music, David Allan Coe, 2002
no info 20 All Time Greatest Hits, David Allan Coe, 2002
no info Masters, Hank Snow, 2002
no info Pickin' on Merle Haggard: A Tribute, Various Artists, 2002
no info That's All Right Mama, Albert Lee, 2003
no info Americana: Home Recordings, Jim Croce, 2003
no info Live, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, 2003
info Drumless Americana, Hippies & Hillbillies, 2004
no info In the Midwest: Live in the USA 1973, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, 2004
no info Outlaws and Angels, Willie Nelson & Friends, 2004
no info Lit Riffs Soundtrack, Various Artists (Joe Charles), 2004
info One Day At A Time, Joan Baez, 2005 (CD bonus track)
no info Love Train, Joe Bonson & Coffee Run, 2005
no info True Adventures, Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen, 2005
info Springtime on the Mountain, Craig County Boys, 2005
no info Alive & Wired, Old 97's, 2005
info Chained to a Memory 1966-1972, The Everly Brothers, 2006
no info Rock the Night Away, Willie Nelson & Guests, 2006
no info Ramblin Roads: A Bluegrass Collection, Tennessee River Authority, 2006
info Scenechronized, The Seldom Scene, 2007
no info Live from Armadillo World HQ 1973, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, 2007
info Old Time Banjo Festival, Various Artists (Bob Smakula), 2007
no info Goodbye Nashville, Hello Camden Town: A Pub Rock Anthology, Various Artists (Country Fever), 2007
no info Hushabye Baby, Vol. 4: Lullaby Renditions of Country Music Favorites, Denis Caplinger, 2008
no info Live in the Ozone: 1973 US Tour, Commander Cody, 2008
info Leaving Pike's County, The Grass Less Traveled, 2008
no info Time & Time Again, Chris Fyfe, 2008
no info Sentimental Horses, The Millionaires, 2008
no info Bluegrass Tribute to the Stars of Country, Various Artists (Reno Brothers), 2008

 
Grateful Dead

info Grateful Dead (Skull & Roses), 1971
info Dick's Picks, Vol. 6, 1996
info Dick's Picks, Vol. 10, 1998
info Dick's Picks, Vol. 16, 2000
info View From The Vault, 2000
info View From The Vault (DVD), 2000
info Dick's Picks, Vol. 20, 2001
info The Golden Road (1965-1973), 2001
info View From The Vault III, 2002
info View From The Vault III (DVD), 2002
info Dick's Picks, Vol. 33, 2004
info Dick's Picks, Vol. 34, 2005
info Dick's Picks, Vol. 35, 2005
info Grateful Dead Download Vol. 1: 4/30/77, 2005
info Grateful Dead Download Vol. 4: 6/18/76, 2005
info Grateful Dead Download Vol. 7: 9/3 & 4/80, 2005
info Live at the Cow Palace: New Year's Eve 1976, 2006
info Road Trips: Vol 3, Number 1: Oakland Dec 28, 1979, 2009
info Road Trips: Vol 4, No. 4: Spectrum 4.6.82, 2011
info Dave's Picks Volume 6: 12/20/69 & 2/2/70, 2013
info Dave's Picks Vol 10: Los Angeles, 12/12/69, 2014
info Spring 1990 (The Other One), 2014

The Dead

info Camden, NJ, June 28, 2003
info Dead '09: Buffalo, NY, April 21, 2009

Furthur

info Dec 31, 2009, San Francisco, CA
info Feb 9, 2010, Ashville, NC
info Feb 24, 2010, New York, NY
info Mar 8, 2010, Portland, OR
info July 7, 2010, Ottawa, ON
info November 13, 2010, Chicago, IL
info March 22, 2011, Upper Darby, PA
info July 22, 2011, Bridgeport, CT
info Nov 20, 2011, St. Louis, MO
info April 7, 2012, Wallingford, CT
info September 21, 2012, Morrison, CO
info December 30, 2012, San Francisco, CA
info Oct 4, 2013, Los Angeles, CA

Ratdog

info Las Vegas NV, February 11, 2007
info New York NY, March 8, 2007
info Athens GA, March 22, 2007
info Charlottesville VA, July 14, 2007
info Burgettstown PA, August 15, 2007
info Hampton Beach NH, October 27, 2007
info Raleigh, NC, November 11, 2007
info Bethel, NY, August 12, 2008
info Westbury, NY, October 31, 2008
info Greensboro, NC, November 16, 2008
info Wilmington, NC, July 21, 2009
info Jacksonville, OR, August 21, 2009
info Boston, MA, February 24, 2014
info Buffalo, NY, March 4, 2014
info Hyannis, MA, June 7, 2014

Phil Lesh & Friends

info Instant Live: July 9, 2006, Bethel, NY, 2006

Dark Star Orchestra

info DSO Live: Jan 24, 2004, Cincinnati, OH
info DSO Live: Feb 17, 2004, Albuquerque, NM
info DSO Live: Feb 20, 2004, Boulder, CO
info DSO Live: Mar 6, 2004, Chicago, IL
info DSO Live: Mar 9, 2004, Baltimore, MD
info DSO Live: Mar 10, 2004, Pittston, PA
info DSO Live: Mar 13, 2004, Wantagh, NY
info DSO Live: Mar 19, 2004, Teaneck, NJ
info Ithaca 30 Years Later, Dark Star Orchestra, 2008

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