Sunday night the 56th Annual Grammy Awards had various moments, including what was billed as a reunion of The Highwaymen. The two surviving members of the supergroup — Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson — were joined by Merle Haggard and Blake Shelton. But the performance was only partly a tribute to the band that released three albums and a recognition of its deceased members Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, as most of the performance acknowledged the individuals on stage. That was okay, though, as it was good to see the three legends on stage with Blake Shelton giving the group a little shot of “youth.”
As you may see in the following video, the performance opens with the two surviving Highwaymen singing a little of the group’s hit “Highwayman,” a song about reincarnation written by Jimmy Webb. Then, they are joined by Haggard and Shelton, singing Haggrard’s “Okie from Muskogee” and “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” which had been a hit for Nelson and Jennings.
Many years ago, I saw the original Highwaymen perform at the Houston Astrodome. It was a memorable experience to see the country music legends all together, and at that performance they did a lot of individual songs too. So in a sense, the reunion continued that tradition of being more than just about songs by the Highwaymen. With Cash and Jennings gone, of course the band can never be the same. But like another Grammy sort-of reunion of another great quartet that had Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr playing together, we will take what we can get, while also remembering those who can no longer perform.
What was your favorite performance at the Grammys? Leave your two cents in the comments.
(Some related Chimesfreedom posts.)