Merle Haggard was an American songwriter and a country singer. The veteran singer has a four-decade successful career to his name, starting from 1960 and continuing to the 2000’s. He took birth in Oildale, California, the US on 6th April 1937.
He found a band called the Strangers, and they developed the Bakersfield sound, a typical twang of Fender Telecast along with country steel guitar. He registered many awards to his name like Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award, Country Music Hall of Fame, BMI Icon award, Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, etc.
His last recording Kern River Blues that described Bakersfield sound got released in 2016. He died on 6th April 2016 in California. He took birth in Oildale, California, the US on 6th April 1937 during the time of great depression.
His parents James Francis Haggard and Flossie Mae Haggard worked for the Santa Fe Railroad. Merle became the youngest child of his parents, and his father died when he was young. He grew up with a troubled childhood and learned to play the guitar given by his older brother Lowell. He got inspired by Lefty Frizzell, and Bob Wills, but the harsh environment made him rebellious, and Haggard committed small thefts and crimes.
He even fled his home in 1950 and got detention in Juvenile. After this, he did small jobs until he performed in a bar named Fun Center. Haggard and his friend Teague went in and out of jail for crimes, but in 1951, they saw Lefty Frizzell in concert; the singer heard Haggard sing and invited him on the stage, it was a changing point in his career.
Merle decided to become a musician. Initially, he started playing at nightclubs but deceived by his wife and continuing crimes he again went to jail in 1958 at San Quentin Prison. There he played music with his fellow inmates; inspired by Johnny Cash, he decided to change his life and got released in 1960.
In 1972, after twelve years of focused life, Haggard became an established country star; he even got a pardon for his previous crimes. During these years, he worked with Tally Records and developed Bakersfield music. Singing My Heart Out became his first record, in 1964, his record Sing a Song, became a hit.
In 1967, he made I’m a Lonesome Fugitive with his band the Strangers; it became a number one single. In his career, he sang super hit songs like Sing me back home; Mama tried, etc.
The veteran singer has a four-decade successful career to his name, starting from 1960 and continuing to the 2000’s. He married five times, did drugs, got lung cancer; his life became a tale to be told. He died on 6th April on his 79th birthday in California.