R.I.P. Merle Haggard
What a bummer to start the afternoon, Merle Haggard’s manager says the country legend has passed away from complications around pneumonia in California at 79 years old, on his 79th birthday. Rest in Peace to one helluva guitarist, fiddler, and song- writer.
Have a look back at the life of Merle with our sister station Country 104:
According to TMZ. com, last week Haggard canceled his shows for the month of April due to his continuing efforts to recover. His manager tells us Merle was weary from battling pneumonia for so long … and had even predicted to friends he would die on his birthday.
He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994. Haggard was one of the original country music outlaws with Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash.
5 Things You Didn’t Know About Merle Haggard
1. Born In A Boxcar. How country is that?? He was destined to be a country outlaw no?
2. He Saw Johnny Cash perform at San Quentin. After seeing him perform, Merle was inspired. Within three years of his release, he recorded his first Top 20 Country single.
3. Ronald Reagan pardoned him. When Reagan was California Governor, he pardoned all of Merle’s past crimes. He said that after trying for years for a pardon he hadn’t expected it to happen.
4. Had a Number One Duet With Clint Eastwood. Remember the movie Bronco Billy? Haggard played himself in the film and recorded Bar Room Buddies with Eastwood for the soundtrack.
5. He was a wicked impersonator. Although a serious performer, Haggard was known for his amazing impressions of other country stars like Buck Owens, Johnny Cash and Marty Robbins among others. Here’s the video.
From School of Rock Today:
Johnny Cash was one of the original outlaws with Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson. As a matter of fact, those two wrote a song about Johnny Cash last year! Haggard & Cash met in a prison…