Merle Haggard
(Lynn Pelham/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

Released in 1968, Merle Haggard wrote and recorded “Mama Tried,” a song about how his stay in San Quentin jail in ’57 affected his mother. The song went to No. 1 on Billboard‘s country charts; and has since been covered by a diverse range of artists, including the Grateful Dead, the Everly Brothers, and Joan Baez. Here’s a live version of the late Haggard doing the song.