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This week in 1968: Unmanned Apollo 6 was launched from Cape Kennedy in a test of Saturn V booster rockets; race riots swept several U.S. cities as President Lyndon Johnson ordered troops into the capitol; the U.S. called 24,500 reservists to active duty and a California singer/songwriter had recorded his favorite song that didn't make the charts.

Most songwriters will admit they started several songs that never completed and according to Bonnie Owens, she was no exception.

She said, "Yes I've started a lot of songs that I never finished some of them I just never got back to and some others I just completely forgot about."

Bonnie was married to Merle Haggard for 13 years and said "I wrote some songs with Merle. But he wrote "Today I Started Loving You Again" by himself. I never heard him say but I think that was his favorite of all the songs he wrote. I remember when he was writing it and when he showed it to me I convinced him to leave out four more lines that he wanted to put in. I thought those four lines actually took away from the song instead of adding to it. I didn't work on that song but Merle gave me half of it I didn't ask him for it — he just gave me half the song."

"Today I Started Loving You Again" never made the charts for Merle Haggard. It was released as the flipside of "The Legend Of Bonnie & Clyde," which was his 13th charted song and his 4th No. 1 in 1968.

Since then, "Today I Started Loving You Again" has been recorded by dozens of artists and made the charts for Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, Sammi Smith, Arthur Prysock and Emmylou Harris.

Merle Haggard placed 106 songs on the country music charts between 1963 and 2015 including 38 No. 1s. Thirteen of his 106 country chart singles also made the pop charts.

Merle was honored by The Kennedy Center in 2010; received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award in 2006 and was inducted into The Country Music Hall Of Fame in 1994.

Merle Haggard died in 2016 at age 79.

Join Doug Davis weekends on KPIG-FM Radio 103.9 for Roots of Country from 6 a.m. to noon Saturdays and Sundays and from 6 a.m. to noon on Sundays for Sunday Country. You can also listen on the internet at Mypigradio.com

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