Merle Haggard, singer, songwriter
Singer ~ Songwriter
birth name: Merle Ronald Haggard

Merle Haggard

April 6, 1937 Bakersfield, CA ~ April 6, 2016

“My second wife Bonnie Owens and I worked together after we divorced for a period of maybe 20 years. And I managed to stay friends with another wife. And then there's one that I don't mess with. Everybody's got one of those.” ~ Merle Haggard

Country legend Merle Haggard, often called “the Poet of the Common Man,” whose music reflected his hardscrabble roots and hard-living ways as well as a tenderness that made him a revered songwriter, died Wednesday at his home near Redding, Calif. He was 79. ~ Variety: Merle Haggard Obituary ~ April 6, 2016 © Variety

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April 6, 1968 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (3) the Monkees, Valleri ~ #2 (7) the Union Gap feat Gary Puckett, Young Girl ~ #1 (1) Otis Redding, (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay

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Originally a troubled youngster who served time in San Quentin prison, Merle Haggard grew to become a country music legend. ~ Biography: Merle Haggard ~ retrieved April 19, 2014 © Biography.com

Like his idol, Bob Wills, his music was a melting pot that drew from all forms of traditional American music - country, jazz, blues, and folk - and in the process, developed a distinctive style of his own. As a performer, singer, and musician, he was one of the best, influencing countless other artists. Not coincidentally, he was the best singer/songwriter in country music since Hank Williams, writing a body of songs that became classics. ~ Allmusic: Merle Haggard ~ retrieved April 19, 2014 © Allmusic

Merle Haggard ~ Ranked #77 Rolling Stone 100 Greatest Singers in 2008. ~ Merle Haggard's tough but smooth baritone epitomized Sixties and Seventies country, from the stubborn attack of Okie From Muskogee and The Fightin' Side Of Me to the delicate crooning on Silver Wings and If We Make It Through December. ~ 2008 © Rolling Stone

In 2012 no less than five Merle Haggard albums made it to the #DLW500 Dylan's 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time ~ #494 Sing Me Back Home (1968) ~ #420 Back To The Barrooms (1980) ~ #368 Mama Tried (1968) ~ #210 Branded Man (1969) ~ #22 Swinging Doors/The Bottle Let Me Down (1966)

Merle Haggard ~ If We Make It Through December (Haggard) ~ #14 Rolling Stone 40 Saddest Country Songs Of All Time in 2014 ~ With unemployment and inflation at a record high in 1973, and both oil and steel in short supply, America was in the middle of one of its worst recessions to date. But while headlines screamed of "bear markets" and "economic indexes," Haggard's song got right to the heart of the issue: the people behind those headlines. More importantly, it mirrored the optimism that shone through the struggles: “If we make it through December, we'll be fine.” ~ 2014 © Rolling Stone



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