MSN recently reviewed the best country albums, and you’ll find the list here. My favorite country album didn’t even make the list. To this day, I can still listen to Merle Haggard’s “Swingin’ Doors and The Bottle Let Me Down” from start to finish. Released in 1966, it’s the first music I think I recall hearing. My dad LOVED Merle. We lived in La Habra, California, at the time, not far from Merle’s Bakersfield home. Dad played “The Fugitive” 45 over and over until the cue burn covered the entire single! Then he brought home that wonderful album. I know every word of every song. Sure, it had the title hits, but I especially loved “High on a Hilltop,” a song that my young ears interpreted as a gospel tune, when in fact it was about a lowdown cheatin’ woman. Then there was the the album closer, “Shade Tree Fix-It Man.” He didn’t need any helpin’ hand, ’cause he was a jack of all trades, workin’ in the shade. Any time I hear Merle, I think of my dad as a young man, and California. Good times, and a stellar album. Check out the MSN link. Did your favorite album make the list?