My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Classic Rewind: Roy Drusky – ‘(All My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers’

This Liz Anderson song is best known as Merle Haggard’s first top 10 hit, but this rival version was a slightly bigger hit at the time:

2 responses to “Classic Rewind: Roy Drusky – ‘(All My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers’

  1. Ken Johnson September 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Clip is from the 1965 movie “Forty Acre Feud” that also featured appearances by Del Reeves, Bill Anderson, Ferlin Husky, George Jones, Johnny Paycheck, Loretta Lynn, Ray Price, Skeeter Davis, Hugh X. Lewis & Minnie Pearl. The late disc jockey Eddie Hill is the emcee in this clip. One of many low budget movies filmed in Nashville during the 1960’s that primarily served as a vehicle to showcase country music performances. Though the silly plots are forgettable these type of movies serve as a wonderful time capsule for country artists of that era.

    Merle Haggard recorded the song several months before Roy Drusky. Merle’s Tally single “(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers” charted in Billboard Magazine during the first week of January 1965 two weeks before Drusky’s slightly differently titled Mercury 45 “(From Now On All My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers” debuted. Merle’s version peaked at #10 in early March while Drusky’s single climbed to #6 in mid-April. Merle was a brand new act on a tiny record label while Drusky who already had a string of hits to his credit had a major record label backing him. This is one of those instances where I would be hard pressed to say who had the better version as both performances are excellent.

    • Paul W Dennis September 14, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      I was living in Virginia Beach at the time. WCMS played both versions, giving Roy’s version slightly more airplay. WTID played Roy Drusky’s version a lot, barely giving Haggard any airplay at all. I think I prefer the Hag’s version, but it is very close. I really liked Roy Drusky as a singer

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