Wednesday was Merle Haggard’s 79th birthday. Ironically it was the day he died.
Haggard has been hailed as a country music “icon.” A “legend” in his own time. “A pioneer.” “A true entertainer.” And “the outlaw of country music.” Haggard did more than sing country music. He lived it.
His troubled youth, brushes with the law and imprisonment in San Quentin are well documented. Johnny Cash advised Haggard to write and sing about the darker side of his life. “Mamma tried,” one of his 40 #1 hits, was an apology of sorts to his hard-working, Christian mother for his rebellious life. Continue reading