Willie Nelson, Kenny Chesney Team for ‘Pancho & Lefty’ at Merle Haggard Tribute Concert [Watch]
Kenny Chesney was among the many country stars who gathered in Nashville on Thursday night (April 6) to pay tribute to the life and legacy of Merle Haggard. Chesney joined Willie Nelson onstage at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville to perform "Pancho & Lefty," which Nelson originally recorded with Haggard in 1983.
In the video above, Nelson sings his original parts to the song, while Chesney accepts the daunting challenge of covering Haggard's iconic parts. Clad casually in a ball cap and short sleeves, Chesney brings his own style to the parts while retaining the spirit of the original recording.
“Pancho & Lefty” is the title track of an entire album of collaborations Haggard and Nelson released in 1983. The song was written and recorded by Townes Van Zandt for his 1972 album 1972 album The Late Great Townes Van Zandt. Haggard and Nelson’s recording reached No. 1 on the Billboard U.S. Country chart, and reached No. 21 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart when it was released as the first single from their collaboration.
Miranda Lambert, John Mellencamp, Dierks Bentley, Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams Jr., Toby Keith, Jamey Johnson, Kacey Musgraves, Lynyrd Skynyrd and many more were also on hand for the Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard concert, which Nelson co-hosted with Haggard’s family.
April 6 would have been Haggard's 80th birthday, and it also marked the one-year anniversary of his death.
See Pictures of Merle Haggard Through the Years
Watch Artists Tribute Haggard With "Okie From Muskogee"