Who was/is Merle Haggard ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more

Merle Haggard

Sing a Sad Song:

Saying Goodbye to Merle Haggard


by Scott B. Bomar

Merle Haggard, an icon of American music, died at his home in California on Wednesday, April 6, 2016. It was the singer, songwriter, and musician’s 79th birthday. In 2008 he battled lung cancer, and was hospitalized in December 2015 with double pneumonia. Haggard returned to the stage soon after, but was sidelined again in February due to continuing health concerns. “A week ago Dad told us he was gonna pass on his birthday,” Merle’s son and lead guitarist, Ben, revealed the day his father died, “and he wasn’t wrong.”

Merle Ronald Haggard was born April 6, 1937 in Bakersfield, California. Following his father’s death in 1945, Merle grew restless and rebellious. Several brushes with the law ultimately landed him in San Quentin prison in 1958. Following his release in 1960, Merle returned to Bakersfield, where he worked at manual labor jobs during the day. In the evenings he paid his dues in the same local honky tonks that sculpted the early career of fellow Bakersfield Sound pioneer Buck Owens.

Merle eventually signed with Bakersfield’s tiny Tally label, releasing a handful of singles before signing with Capitol Records in 1965. During his decade-long stint with Capitol, Haggard scored more than two dozen #1 country hits, including “Branded Man,” “Mama Tried,” “Okie From Muskogee,” “If We Make it Through December,” and “The Roots of My Raising.” Subsequent stints with the MCA and Epic labels yielded additional #1 hits, including “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink,” “My Favorite Memory,” “Big City,” and “Going Where the Lonely Go.” He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994, and continued to record for various labels, releasing his final studio album, Working in Tennessee, in 2011.

The celebrated “poet of the common man” frequently explored themes of restlessness, determination, stubborn individuality, responsibility, hard work, and a longing for personal freedom. His gift for capturing the spirit and struggles of the working class earned him a reputation as one of the great American songwriters in the tradition of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan. Beyond his mastery of lyrics and melody, Haggard was an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and nuanced vocalist who set a new bar in country music for both twangy barn-burners and tender jazz-tinged ballads. “He wasn’t just a country singer,” son Ben added. “He was the best country singer that ever lived.”

Haggard reached the Top 10 on the Billboard Country Singles chart more than 70 times between 1966 and 1989. Nearly 40 of those songs climbed all the way to the #1 spot. Beyond the hits, Haggard released 54 studio albums as a solo act, 10 collaborative albums with other artists, 11 live releases, and 5 additional studio albums spotlighting his legendary band, the Strangers. He won more than two dozen awards from the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association, as well as three Grammy awards. Haggard was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and, in 2010, was honored by the prestigious Kennedy Center for “outstanding contribution to American culture.”

“I want to die along the highway” Haggard sang in his 1977 hit “Ramblin’ Fever.” The legendary road warrior almost pulled it off. “It’s what keeps me alive and it’s what fucks up my life,” Merle said of touring in a 2016 interview with Matt Hendrickson. Although he had little interest in the trappings of celebrity, Haggard loved to sing and play. Bringing his music to his fans fueled him to the very end. His passing marks not only the end of a remarkable career, but the death of an icon who ranks with Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Miles Davis, and John Lennon as a musical force who forever changed the face of music.              

 

 

More information about Merle Haggard on Wikipedia.org

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Swinging Doors: Hits Collection (2-CD) Merle Haggard: Swinging Doors: Hits Collection (2-CD) Art-Nr.: CDGT2266

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California Country (CD) Merle Haggard & Buck Owens: California Country (CD) Art-Nr.: CDGT2267

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Rainbow Stew, Live At Anaheim Stadium (CD) Merle Haggard: Rainbow Stew, Live At Anaheim Stadium (CD) Art-Nr.: CDMCA31101

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(MCA Records) 10 tracks - all time classic live performance!
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Working In Tennessee (LP) Merle Haggard: Working In Tennessee (LP) Art-Nr.: LPCR00165

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(Craft Recordings) 11 Tracks - Reissue of the original 2011 Vanguard album, Merle Haggard's last studio album! Featuring Willie Nelson and Theresa & Ben Haggard!
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I Am What I Am (LP) Merle Haggard: I Am What I Am (LP) Art-Nr.: LPCR00164

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(Craft Recordings) 12 Tracks - Reissue of the original 2010 Vanguard album, Merle Haggard's 62nd studio album!
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Capitol Country Classics - Featuring 16 Number Ones (LP) Merle Haggard: Capitol Country Classics - Featuring 16 Number... Art-Nr.: LPCAPS1034

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(EMI- Capitol) 16 tracks - Original 'Capitol' recordings from the 1970s
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Merle Haggard Sings Country Favourites (LP) Merle Haggard: Merle Haggard Sings Country Favourites (LP) Art-Nr.: LPEMS1253

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(EMI UK) 20 Tracks -
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Country Legends (CD) Merle Haggard: Country Legends (CD) Art-Nr.: CD573322

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(Disky) 15 tracks
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The Bluegrass Sessions (CD) Merle Haggard: The Bluegrass Sessions (CD) Art-Nr.: CDMCM0008

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(Hag Records/McCoury Music) 12 tracks featuring: Marty Stuart, Carl Jackson, Rob Ickes, Alison Krauss a.o.
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The Essential Merle Haggard - The Epic Years (CD) Merle Haggard: The Essential Merle Haggard - The Epic Years (CD) Art-Nr.: CD112405

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(Sony Music) 14 tracks (48:33) 1981-1987 with 12 page booklet.
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The Merle Haggard Country Collection (CD) Merle Haggard: The Merle Haggard Country Collection (CD) Art-Nr.: CDKN13058

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(Knight Records) 14 tracks
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From The King To The Barrooms (CD) Merle Haggard: From The King To The Barrooms (CD) Art-Nr.: CDHUMP017

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(Hump Head) 24 tracks (73:00) with 16 page booklet including all lyrics. - From The King To The Barroooms brings together some of Merle Haggard's best loved songs, together with a selection of his Elvis covers. This compilation includes...
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Best Of The '90s Vol.2 (CD) Merle Haggard: Best Of The '90s Vol.2 (CD) Art-Nr.: CDCURB77967

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(2000/Curb) 11 Tracks - Part 2 of the best of Haggard's performances in the nineties!
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Best Of The '90s Vol.1 (CD) Merle Haggard: Best Of The '90s Vol.1 (CD) Art-Nr.: CDCURB77966

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(Curb) 12 Tracks - Part 1 of the best of Haggard's performances in the nineties!
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Same Train - A Different Time (CD) Merle Haggard: Same Train - A Different Time (CD) Art-Nr.: BCD15740

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1-CD with 20-page booklet, 29 tracks. Playing time approx. 77 mns. Merle Haggard 's 1969 classic double LP played a pivotal role in bringing the music of Jimmie Rodgers to a new audience. In it, he was true to the spirit of Rodgers, but...
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His Best (LP) Merle Haggard: His Best (LP) Art-Nr.: LPMCA5573

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(1985/MCA) 10 tracks - Original recordings done between 1977 and 1981
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A Portrait Of & Keep Movin' On (CD) Merle Haggard: A Portrait Of & Keep Movin' On (CD) Art-Nr.: CDBGO641

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(2004/BGO) 21 tracks, 1969-1970;
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Legend Of Bonnie & Clyde - Pride In What I Am (CD) Merle Haggard: Legend Of Bonnie & Clyde - Pride In What I Am (CD) Art-Nr.: CDBGO547

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​(2002/BGO) 23 Tracks - 1968-1969!
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Live From Austin, TX (LP, 180g Vinyl) Merle Haggard: Live From Austin, TX (LP, 180g Vinyl) Art-Nr.: LPNW5155

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(2017/New West) 15 tracks - Recorded live October 30, 1985
$30.92
Live On The Silver Eagle Radio Show (CD) Merle Haggard: Live On The Silver Eagle Radio Show (CD) Art-Nr.: CDHS1015

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(Hotspur) 24 tracks - 8 page booklet. - By the time Merle Haggard played Nashville's Opryland theme park in 1982, he had a decade and a half of country stardom under his belt. He draws on one of the deepest repertoires in popular music...
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Country Classics (CD) Merle Haggard: Country Classics (CD) Art-Nr.: CDP796628

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​(EMI) 16 tracks
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Songs I'll Always Sing (2-LP) Merle Haggard: Songs I'll Always Sing (2-LP) Art-Nr.: LPSLB8086

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(1977/Capitol) 20 tracks - originally sealed copy. Cut-out LP
$19.86
The Peer Sessions (CD) HAGGARD, Merle: The Peer Sessions (CD) Art-Nr.: CDAUDI8152

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(2022/Audium) 12 tracks (42:20)
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Hag - Concepts, Live & The Strangers - The Capitol Recordings (6-CD) Merle Haggard: Hag - Concepts, Live & The Strangers - The... Art-Nr.: BCD16782

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6-CD box (LP-size) with 120-page hardcover book, 168 tracks, 1968-76. Playing time approx. 440 mns. Merle Haggard was one of the first country artists to see the LP as more than one hit and some filler songs. Now Bear Family gathers...
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The Troubadour (4-CD) Merle Haggard: The Troubadour (4-CD) Art-Nr.: BCD17250

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4-CD box set (LP-format) with 68-page hardcover book, 111 tracks, total playing time approx. 6 hrs 38 mns. Merle Haggard 's overlooked and underappreciated MCA recordings capture the great country singer-songwriter reemerging from his...
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