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.              

 

 

Copyright © Bear Family Records®. Copying, also of extracts, or any other form of reproduction, including the adaptation into electronic data bases and copying onto any data mediums, in English or in any other language is permissible only and exclusively with the written consent of Bear Family Records® GmbH.

More information about Merle Haggard on Wikipedia.org

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The Studio Recordings 1968-76 (6-CD Deluxe Box Set)
Merle Haggard: The Studio Recordings 1968-76 (6-CD Deluxe Box... Art-Nr.: BCD16749

Ready to ship today, delivery time** appr. 1-3 workdays

6-CD box (LP-size) with 140-page hardcover book, 165 tracks. Playing time approx. 467 mns. • A true legend of American music captured in his prime! • The follow-up to Bear Family’s hugely acclaimed 'Untamed Hawk' set. • All the studio...
$124.43 $135.75
Untamed Hawk (5-CD Deluxe Box Set)
Merle Haggard: Untamed Hawk (5-CD Deluxe Box Set) Art-Nr.: BCD15744

Ready to ship today, delivery time** appr. 1-3 workdays

5-CD box (LP-size) with 52-page book, 133 tracks. Playing time approx. 343 mns. In 1962 Merle Haggard cut his first session for Tally Records and set about defining his personal vision of country music. It was radically opposed to what...
$90.48 $107.45
The Troubadour (4-CD Deluxe Box Set)
Merle Haggard: The Troubadour (4-CD Deluxe Box Set) 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...
$97.27 $107.45
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...
$15.79 $18.05
Hag - Concepts, Live & The Strangers - The Capitol Recordings (6-CD Deluxe Box Set)
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...
$124.43 $135.75
Merle Haggard & Mac Wiseman - Timeless (Special Edition)
Merle Haggard And Mac Wiseman: Merle Haggard & Mac Wiseman - Timeless (Special... Art-Nr.: CDHAG0020

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(Hag/Cracker Barrel) 13 tracks (42:33) superb, mostly acoustic session featuring Carl Jackson (gtr), Rob Ickes (dobro), Aubrey Haney (fiddle), Vince Gill (vocal on track 2 and 10) and many others. Recorded at Star Struck Studios,...
$24.84
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...
$13.52 $14.66
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...
$11.26 $16.92
It's Not Love (But It's Not Bad) - If We Make It Through December (CD)
Merle Haggard: It's Not Love (But It's Not Bad) - If We Make... Art-Nr.: CDBGO650

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(2004/BGO) 22 Tracks - 2 Capitol albums from 1972-1974!
$15.79 $21.45
Fighting Side Of Me - 15#1 Hits (CD)
Merle Haggard: Fighting Side Of Me - 15#1 Hits (CD) Art-Nr.: CDDUAL1145

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(2003/DUALTONE) 15 tracks (re-recordings)
$20.31
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;
$20.31 $21.45
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
$16.92
The Essential Merle Haggard - The Epic Years (CD)
Merle Haggard: The Essential Merle Haggard - The Epic Years (CD) Art-Nr.: CD112405

Ready to ship today, delivery time** appr. 1-3 workdays

(Sony Music) 14 tracks (48:33) 1981-1987 with 12 page booklet.
$9.00 $19.18
Working In Tennessee (2011)
Merle Haggard: Working In Tennessee (2011) Art-Nr.: CD78208

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(2011/VANGUARD) 11 tracks (35:18) 12 booklet incl. all lyrics.
$20.31
Just Between The Two...& Fighting Side Of Me
Merle Haggard: Just Between The Two...& Fighting Side Of Me Art-Nr.: CDBGO597

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(2003/BGO) 25 tracks 1966/1970
$13.52 $21.45
Live From Austin TX, 30.10.1985 (CD&DVD)
Merle Haggard: Live From Austin TX, 30.10.1985 (CD&DVD) Art-Nr.: CDNW6245

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(2013/NEW WEST) 15 tracks on CD & DVD, recorded October 30, 1985, color, 46 min, 5.1 surround sound, NTSC, Code 0.
$24.84
Swingin' Doors - Classic Radio Broadcast 1984 (CD)
Merle Haggard: Swingin' Doors - Classic Radio Broadcast 1984 (CD) Art-Nr.: CDLM003

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(2015/Laser Media) 12 Tracks - Original radio broadcast recorded live!
$20.31
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
$20.31
Movin' On (LP)
Merle Haggard: Movin' On (LP) Art-Nr.: LPAX701444

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(EMI-Axis) 14 tracks - 'Capitol' tracks, recorded between 1971 and 1975
$22.58
California Country (CD)
Merle Haggard & Buck Owens: California Country (CD) Art-Nr.: CDGT2267

only 2x still available
Ready to ship today, delivery time** appr. 1-3 workdays

(Gusto) 10 tracks
$11.26
I Am What I Am
Merle Haggard: I Am What I Am Art-Nr.: CD78035

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(2010/VANGUARD) 12 tracks (36:58) superb new album of outstanding ballads and swingin' shuffles, produced by Merle Haggard and Lou Bradley. Highlight!! (als available on Vinyl 'LP-78035')
$21.45
Amber Waves Of Grain - Kern River (CD)
Merle Haggard: Amber Waves Of Grain - Kern River (CD) Art-Nr.: CDBGO935

Ready to ship today, delivery time** appr. 1-3 workdays

(2010/BGO) 19 tracks 1985
$11.26 $18.96
40 #1 Hits 2-CD
Merle Haggard: 40 #1 Hits 2-CD Art-Nr.: CDCAP95627

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CD on CAPITOL RECORDS by Merle Haggard - 40 #1 Hits 2-CD
$28.24
Just Between The Two Of Us
Merle Haggard & Bonnie Owens: Just Between The Two Of Us Art-Nr.: CDKING5119

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(2000/EMI/KING) 12 tracks
$10.07
Hint!
Merle Haggard & The Strangers - Call Of The Country Series (LP, Japan)
Merle Haggard: Merle Haggard & The Strangers - Call Of The... Art-Nr.: LPECS50053

the very last 2 available
Ready to ship today, delivery time** appr. 1-3 workdays

(Capitol-Japan) 14 tracks Stereo, new stock copy with loose bag, insert & obi
$33.89
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