The world lost one of its greats in country legend Merle Haggard this past week and while he may not have been as favoured as Taylor Swift in this latter decade, he was a man who paved the way for many these past four decades, her included. His career hit a few speed bumps when he first started out, like many an artist and in that he was no exception, but soon enough he was recording number one songs quite frequently and over the years he would rack up an impressive amount of awards and accolades to go with them. The man was an inspiration to many and would duet with those he inspired and those who inspired him as well as becoming one half of Pancho and Lefty with Willie Nelson. There was rarely a time when he was not on tour or recording an album and while he might have had his demons over the years, they only served to make his music that much better. There will never be another like Okie from Muskogee, but his music will forever live on.
Live at Church Street Station: Merle Haggard
Nic Harcourt Interviews Merle Haggard
Merle Haggard and the Strangers Okie From Muskogee Live 1969
Merle Haggard & The Strangers 1982