To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=159670
46 messages

Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)

06 Apr 16 - 01:51 PM (#3783788)
Subject: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: Jeri

There's an article here, at Taste of Country. Part of American culture. Okie from Muskogee, Mama Tried, and so many other songs.


06 Apr 16 - 01:58 PM (#3783792)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: keberoxu

And on his birthday....the stuff of legend.


06 Apr 16 - 02:00 PM (#3783793)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: Jeri

Wikipedia on Merle Haggrd
Here's Okie From Muskogee with Willie


06 Apr 16 - 02:20 PM (#3783805)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: GUEST,.gargoyle

How kewl to kick the bucket on his birthday.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

He'll never swim Kern river again.


06 Apr 16 - 02:25 PM (#3783807)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: Cool Beans

Just like Shakespeare, born and died on April 23.


06 Apr 16 - 02:28 PM (#3783808)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: gillymor

An American original, sing him back home.

RIP and thanks for all the great music, Merle.


06 Apr 16 - 02:29 PM (#3783809)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: GUEST,HiLo

Very sorry to hear this. An American icon.


06 Apr 16 - 02:45 PM (#3783814)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: GUEST,DrWord

RIP


06 Apr 16 - 04:22 PM (#3783822)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: Larry The Radio Guy

One of my favourites.

One of those three classic albums he did with Willie Nelson---Seashores of Old Mexico---may be one of the greatest country albums ever recorded.

And, of course, there is this song.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w99UIu9N44w


06 Apr 16 - 04:58 PM (#3783829)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: Jeri

Hag & George Jones on Prime Time Country

Ben Haggard, Merle's son, wrote the following on Facebook:
A week ago dad told us he was gonna pass on his birthday, and he wasn't wrong. A hour ago he took his last breath surrounded by family and friends. He loved everything about life and he loved that everyone of you gave him a chance with his music. He wasn't just a country singer.. He was the best country singer that ever lived.


06 Apr 16 - 06:24 PM (#3783854)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: GUEST,Roger Knowles

The passing of of of the finest country artistes ever. I can say no more.


06 Apr 16 - 06:41 PM (#3783860)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: Acorn4

This was just about my favourite Merle Haggard track:-

"If I Could Only Fly"

R.I.P


06 Apr 16 - 07:19 PM (#3783866)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: GUEST,cookieless khandu

Happy birthday, Merle. You will be long remembered and severely missed.


06 Apr 16 - 07:52 PM (#3783868)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: Hagman

My avatar says it all...


06 Apr 16 - 08:15 PM (#3783871)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: GUEST,Lin

So sorry to hear this sad, sad news. Merle was one of the greatest country singers - so different from most of the young current country music singers of today - actually 100 % different then what you hear today. Nothing like Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Patsy Kline type of country artists performing now. All you see now is flashy, slick, glamorous looking and too "pop" sounding from most of the current young country singers these days.
Country music has changed so much from what it used to be.

RIP Merle Haggard. Your fans will miss you a lot!


06 Apr 16 - 08:58 PM (#3783879)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: Charley Noble

A fine man and an excellent singer and songwriter.

Charlie Ipcar


06 Apr 16 - 09:09 PM (#3783881)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: Richie

He finally got his Silver Wings,

Richie


06 Apr 16 - 09:55 PM (#3783886)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: Rapparee

Another good one gone. Damn!


06 Apr 16 - 11:23 PM (#3783903)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: Janie

One of the truly great songwriters and musicians. Glad he saw his legacy blossom among a younger generation of musicians and song writers long before his final hours.

R.I.P. and condolences to his family.


07 Apr 16 - 02:37 AM (#3783917)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: GUEST,tunesmith

Merle was so talented.
Great singer, great songwriter, great instrumentalists...and he could do terrific impersonations!
Indeed, no other country great had Merle's great range.
He was truly a giant of popular music.

Merle's Blues

impersonations


07 Apr 16 - 05:42 AM (#3783949)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: GUEST

Who will be the next Merle Haggard, someone has asked elsewhere.
The answer is, surely, 'no-one. He was unique and a musical giant.


07 Apr 16 - 05:43 AM (#3783950)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: GUEST,Mike Rogers

The previous post was from me.


07 Apr 16 - 08:53 AM (#3783987)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: GUEST,Mrr

Turns out not only did I like his music, he wrote a BUNCH of songs I would have thought were "traditional" - I am reminded of Tommy Makem in that regard. So talent, such musical, wow.


07 Apr 16 - 12:23 PM (#3784028)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: mkebenn

another irreplacable talent. I feel for the younuns who will only know him from his recordings. RIP Mike


07 Apr 16 - 01:33 PM (#3784037)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: olddude

So sad, such a great performer


08 Apr 16 - 04:50 AM (#3784156)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: Joe Offer

I've spent a lot of time in Bakersfield in my days - mostly when I was employed, but I've visited a number of times since I retired in 1999. Because of that, I feel a special kinship with Buck Owens and Merle Haggard - all Bakersfield people do. Bakersfield is a crummy, dirty town that smells like oil wells, but it's very proud of the Bakersfield Sound. I guess that the passing of Merle Haggard marks the death of the Bakersfield Sound. It was good music, and it will be with us a long, long time.

But for some damn reason, I always associate Bakersfield with a Donna Summer song I heard - the one with the whistles. One time when I was working in Bakersfield, that song played constantly on the radio.

Oh, and did I ever tell you about the time I was working in Bakersfield during a three-day dust storm? I was lucky to be in the only motel in town that had power.

Merle, may you rest in peace. I suppose that you and I will never swim Kern River again.

-Joe-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Pgg9p3BcRM


08 Apr 16 - 02:52 PM (#3784265)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: GUEST

Merle's "Big City" song has to be one of the best country songs ever written. It had to speak to so many people who migrated from rural areas to urban areas in search of a way to provide for their families. It could stand as an anthem for them, and probably accounts for its huge commercial success. RIP Merle.


08 Apr 16 - 03:10 PM (#3784270)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: keberoxu

Joe, you must mean Donna Summer's "Bad Girls."   Toot Toot Beep Beep


08 Apr 16 - 04:09 PM (#3784277)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: GUEST

Best thing about Merle Haggard was he wasn't a tw*t


09 Apr 16 - 07:22 AM (#3784360)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: GUEST,Iain

Working on the rigs in SE Asia in the early 70,s "Okie from Muskogee" was almost an anthem and heard frequently. Merle Haggard was a mighty talent.
RIP I am sure your wings are now silver, if not gold.


10 Apr 16 - 07:18 AM (#3784542)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: alanabit

As an earlier poster wrote, he was an irreplaceable talent - as a writer, singer and musician. Farewell and thanks.


10 Apr 16 - 12:28 PM (#3784590)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: GUEST

I share Pat Sky's opinion of him as expressed in his song: Okie


10 Apr 16 - 12:39 PM (#3784592)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: Jeri

It's his answer to the song, and isn't about Haggard. The more time goes by, the more I realize how much gray is in between the black and white. If Willie Nelson was his friend, the song wasn't all that viscous. The internet has a way of polarizing people, though.


11 Apr 16 - 12:21 AM (#3784700)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: GUEST,e-goat 

Many a California outdoor writer had stories of Merle Haggard fishing on Shasta Lake in just boots and a cowboy hat--from the comments

The Poet of the Common Man  


11 Apr 16 - 12:34 AM (#3784701)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: GUEST

Also from the comments: Merle told us he wrote Muskogee because it had to be written and he was the only one that knew the words.


11 Apr 16 - 05:27 AM (#3784733)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: pdq

"I'll Fix Your Flat Tire, Merle" - Pure Prairie League


11 Apr 16 - 09:31 PM (#3784797)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: GUEST,Lin

Hey Joe Offer:

I was recently up in Bakersfield this past February for 5 days.
I think there are some changes going on there for the better.
There are some great restaurants there now. Ate at a wonderful Thai restaurant one evening in the downtown area and one good family restaurant near the GET bus station that serves the best pea soup on ?Thursdays. I'm not even normally a big fan of split pea soup but decided to try it as they were serving it on the day I was there.
Great fish serving too!
Stayed at a hotel near Amtrak that served a large buffet type breakfast in the morning with another great Mexican restaurant next door too.
Stopped in at the Buck Owens museum and that was great too see!!
Took a bus and it went down Merle Haggard Avenue. (Oildale area)

Talked to some very nice people that live there in Bakersfield and didn't smell the oil wells in the areas I was in.
I was up there for 5 days and visited some really nice antiques shops on 18th & 19th Streets off "Q" Street.
One had a lot of military things for sale and many other interesting shops for other antiques. Some good books to be found at them too at reasonable prices.
I was all over Bakersfield in different areas and went by two large colleges there.
Jackson Browne playing at the Fox Theater in downtown Bakersfield this month.


12 Apr 16 - 10:32 PM (#3785014)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: GUEST,Cathy

Merle Haggard - What a legend! What an incredible performer!
And as Guest Lin said, "100% different then what you hear today."
I guess I am from the old school of country music too and so much of what you hear these days by the young country singers is really different - and not in a good way for the most part.
I do like Dolly Parton but not Shaina (sp?) Twain country music.

Hey Lin, I will be in the Bakersfield area later this year.
If you can recommend (name the restaurants) or other places to see please post. I do hope to visit the Buck Owens Museum & restaurant while there. Another great legend from Bakersfield!

RIP Merle Haggard.


13 Apr 16 - 07:22 AM (#3785058)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: GUEST

God rest his soul


13 Apr 16 - 10:02 PM (#3785191)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: Janie

This American Masters documentary has been made available on youtube for a limited time as a tribute to Merle. Was on PBS but has never been released as a DVD or for rent. Well worth watching.

Learning To Live With Myself

Merle never regretted Okie From Muskogee, but also changed his own perspective over time. I appreciate that he changed. And I appreciate him standing by that song. I really liked what you said, Jeri. Things ain't simple because life and all that shapes us is not simple.


13 Apr 16 - 11:04 PM (#3785198)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: GUEST,Larry the Radio Guy

What many people don't realize is that Merle Haggard wrote the first "Marxist" country hit. Really! Mama's Hungry Eyes----class struggle ("That another class of people put us somewhere just below"), and religion as the opiate of the masses (I remember daddy praying for a better way of life But I don't recall a change of any size).

Yes...he was a complex fellow, not someone who could be classified in black vs white or left vs right terms.

Here are the words.

"Hungry Eyes"

A canvas covered cabin in a crowded labour camp
Stand out in this memory I revived;
Cause my daddy raised a family there, with two hard working hands
And tried to feed my mama's hungry eyes.

He dreamed of something better, and my mama's faith was strong
And us kids were just too young to realize
That another class of people put us somewhere just below;
One more reason for my mama's hungry eyes.

Mama never had the luxuries she wanted
But it wasn't cause my daddy didn't try.
She only wanted things she really needed;
One more reason for my mama's hungry eyes.

I remember daddy praying for a better way of life
But I don't recall a change of any size;
Just a little loss of courage, as their age began to show
And more sadness in my mama's hungry eyes.

Mama never had the luxuries she wanted
But it wasn't cause my daddy didn't try.
She only wanted things she really needed;
One more reason for my mama's hungry eyes.

Oh, I still recall my mama's hungry eyes.


14 Apr 16 - 12:07 AM (#3785204)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch

Hillary (Let's Put a Woman in Charge)
w&m Merle Haggard (2006)

Eight years in the White House
With the know-how we need
When you walk with a leader
You learn how to lead
And who kept her head high
When it could have been down
Who ran the show
When the scandal hit town
This country needs to be honest
Changes need to be large
Something like a big switch of gender
Let's put a woman in charge
Put a woman in charge of the Army
Put a woman in charge of the wheel
The country owes it to Hillary
And Hillary owes it to Bill

It was the first time Haggard voted in a national election since Ronald Reagan in '84 (who pardoned him in '72.) Some fans thought it was a joke they didn't get but nope, serious as a heart attack. (And it takes a real country boy to rhyme "wheel" and "Bill.")


14 Apr 16 - 01:06 AM (#3785209)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: Stilly River Sage

Thanks, Phil!


14 Apr 16 - 08:58 PM (#3785386)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: Ed T

Merle had an excellent voice. I especially enjoyed his cover of Jimmie Rodgers songs- many were on his 1969 double album. His Christmas album is my favourite, played each Christmas.
Here is a Jimmie Rodgers:

Merle does Jimmie Rodgers 


04 May 16 - 02:18 PM (#3788606)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: GUEST

Sacramento Bee has an article that mentions MY being a ward of the State at the Preston School of Industry in Iona, CA.


The young Merle Haggard made a break for it twice in the early 1950s, Page said. The first time, he and a buddy planned it six weeks in advance, shimmying down a fire escape and off into downtown Ione. Haggard, who apparently was as dexterous with car doors and engines as he would later be with guitar strings, sprinted toward the closest car he could find, jumped in, hot wired in it less than a minute and hit the gas pedal.

"But he didn't notice the car's owner had chained it to a tree," Page said.

Haggard hid in a cubby hole nearby the stalled car, as the police began their search. The police chief's young son, the story goes, was about at eye level with the crouching Haggard. The two locked eyes. Haggard put his finger to his lips to shush the child. The boy ratted him out anyway. As Haggard later wrote in his autobiography, the last thing he remembered from that escape attempt was looking over his shoulder as he was being led away and seeing the little boy wagging his finger at him.

"The next time Merle escaped," Page continued, "he stole the police chief's car and got all the way to Fresno before he was caught and brought back."

And what punishment did escapees face?

"Contrary to what they said at the time, the boys were beaten, severely punished," Page said. "Boys were whipped and thrown in solitary confinement. It was pretty bad."

The Preston Foundation has reached out to Haggard to perhaps stage a benefit concert. For some reason, Haggard reportedly declined the invitation.

"He wants nothing to do with this place because of what he calls his 'fond' memories, like being hit with two-by-fours," Page said. "Merle's got a tattoo on one of his wrists with 'PSI' on it. He hasn't forgotten."


www.sacbee.com/entertainment/living/travel/sam-mcmanis/article25499146.html



His crimes were:
"
By the end of 1951, Haggard had returned home and he was again arrested for truancy, as well as petty larceny. In the beginning of 1952, he was sent to Fred C. Nelles School for Boys in Whittier, California; again, he ran away. This time, the courts decided he was incorrigible and sent him to the high-security Preston School of Industry; he was released after 15 months. Shortly after his release, he and a boy he met at PSI beat up a local boy during an attempted robbery, and Haggard was sent back to PSI. "

www.cmt.com


05 May 16 - 01:02 PM (#3788789)
Subject: RE: Obit: Merle Haggard (6 Apr 1937 - 6 Apr 2016)
From: voyager

This Nashville Prime Time interview (Merle Haggard, Bob Eubanks, George Jones, friends and musicians) is a real 'mind blower'

MERLE HAGGARD PERFORMS (LIVE) - TRIBUTE SHOW by PRIME TIME COUNTRY

Didn't know the Bob Eubanks/Merle Haggard connection (25 years), the stories about performing for Nixon at the White House on the eve of Watergate break-in and writing 'Sing Me Back Home' for death row inmate 'Jimmy Hendricks' are amazing. And then there's Bonnie Owens and "The Possum".

Thank you Merle Haggard for your life in music.
voyager