Merle Haggard

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Merle Haggard

 

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Merle Haggard Bio and Merle Haggard Pictures

Merle Haggard Bio

As a performer and a songwriter, Merle Haggard was the most important country artist to emerge in the 1960s. Merle Haggard became one of the leading figures of the Bakersfield country scene in the '60s. While his music remained hardcore country, he pushed the boundaries of the music quite far. 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. Throughout his career, Haggard has been a champion of the working man, largely due to his rough and tumble history.
Merle Haggard Bio

Merle Haggard Bio

Merle Haggard Pictures

Merle Haggard Pictures

Merle Haggard Goodies

It's impossible to separate Merle Haggard's music from his life. Merle Haggard was born to James and Flossie Haggard on April 6, 1937. His parents moved from Oklahoma to California during the Great Depression, converting an old boxcar into a home. Before their marriage, James played fiddle in local honky tonk bars. Flossie was a member of the Church of Christ, which led to her forcing her husband to stop playing the honky tonks. James died from a brain tumor when Merle was nine years old. After his father's death, Merle became rebellious. In an attempt to straighten her son out, his mother put him in several juvenile detention centers, but it had little effect on Merle's behavior. As a teenager, he fell in love with country music, particularly Bob Wills, Lefty Frizzell, and Hank Williams. When he was 12 years old, Haggard was given his first guitar by his older brother; Merle taught himself how to play by listening to records that were lying around the house

Even when success eluded him, Merle Haggard's music remained some of the most consistently interesting and inventive in country music. Not only have his recordings remained fresh, but each subsequent generation of country singers show a great debt to his work. That fact stands as a testament to his great talent even more than his induction to the Country Music Hall of Fame. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

 

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