Merle Haggard: 1937-2016

April 7, 2016 at 8:43 pm (Uncategorized)

Merle Haggard was one of those names that I knew, had never a song by, by somehow I knew I didn’t like him. I mean, it was country music, right? Sure I’d dipped my toe into the waters before when I had brought home records by Hank Williams, the Byrds’ Sweetheart of the Rodeo and Dylan’s Nashville Skyline, but Merle Haggard. Nah.

And then.

I was living in Nova Scotia in the mid-1990s, and at the end of a party, I’m in a basement and listening to a record someone has put on. “Man, this is good. Who is it?” I asked. “Merle Haggard.” OK, I thought, I can admit when I’m wrong. I need to look into this.

The only Haggard record I won is Okie from Muskogee, and whether or not Haggard was serious about the title track, it’s a great album. Sure, I prefer Tom Jones version of “Green Green Grass of Home,” but “Sing me back home” is unbeatable.

Go listen now. 1937-2016

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