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Merle Haggard

Thursday, 7 April, 2016

The fiercely independent country music singer Merle Haggard died yesterday in California, surrounded by friends and family. He was 79 and yesterday was his birthday. When he was 21, Haggard was sent to San Quentin State Prison following a burglary attempt. While imprisoned, he saw Johnny Cash perform for the inmates and upon his release in 1960 he determined to turn his life around, which he did.

“Now, as far as my body development, I’m two different people. My right side is more developed than my left side. That’s an occupational hazard. My chiropractor said to me, ‘You look like you had a hard life. Like you lifted lots.’ Well, no, but I have played the fiddle some. Hell, if a fella could get good dope anymore, he’d learn to play the fiddle left-handed and build up the other one-half of his body.”

Ornery by Bryan diSalvatore, The New Yorker, 12 February 1990

Merle Haggard


Comments (1)

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  1. Henry Barth says:

    Who can forget his 1969 hit ‘Okie from Muskogee,’ which made him rich and famous. And changed country music:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/why-okie-from-muskogee-was-merle-haggards-contradictory-masterpiece-20160407