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Merle Haggard

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Merle Haggard
Merle_Haggard_in_1971.jpg

Merle Ronald Haggard (April 6, 1937 April 6, 2016) was an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, and fiddler. Along with Buck Owens, Haggard and his band the Strangers helped create the Bakersfield sound, which is characterized by the twang of Fender Telecaster and the unique mix with the traditional country steel guitar sound, new vocal harmony styles in which the words are minimal, and a rough edge not heard on the more polished Nashville sound recordings of the same era.

Haggard's childhood was troubled after the death of his father, and he was incarcerated several times in his youth. He managed to turn his life around and launch a successful country music career, gaining popularity with his songs about the working class that occasionally contained themes contrary to the prevailing anti-Vietnam War sentiment of much popular music of the time. Between the 1960s and the 1980s, he had 38 number-one hits on the US country charts, several of which also made the Billboard all-genre singles chart.Haggard continued to release successful albums into the 2000s.

He received many honors and awards for his music, including a Kennedy Center Honor (2010), a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (2006), a BMI Icon Award (2006), and induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (1977), Country Music Hall of Fame (1994) and Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame (1997). He died on April 6, 2016 his 79th birthday at his ranch in Northern California, having recently suffered from double pneumonia.

Haggard's last recording, a song called "Kern River Blues," described his departure from Bakersfield in the late 1970s and his displeasure with politicians. The song was recorded February 9, 2016, and features his son Ben on guitar. This record was released on May 12, 2016, marking the end of Haggard's music career.
#1 - June 14, 2017, 10:48:26 AM
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Merle Haggard - If We Make It Through December


"If We Make It Through December" is a song written and recorded by American country music singer Merle Haggard. It was released in October 1973 as the lead single from the album Merle Haggard's Christmas Present, and was the title track on a non-Christmas album four months later. In the years since its release, "If We Make It Through December" which, in addition to its Christmas motif, also uses themes of unemployment and loneliness has become one of the trademark songs of Haggard's career.

Written in 1973, it treats with Haggard's characteristically simple poetry the desperate optimism of a working-class man dealing with economic hardship. Having been laid off from his factory job just prior to the Christmas season, the man becomes depressed over his predicament during what normally should be a "happy time of year." At one point, he observes that his little girl "don't understand why Daddy can't afford no Christmas here."

The chorus, "If we make it through December/Everything's gonna be alright, I know" expresses hope, the protagonist telling himself that hope exists if he wants to deal with "the coldest time of winter" and the cold, lonely feeling he experiences while watching the snow fall ("and I shiver when I see the falling snow").

While Christmas is a prominent theme of this song, writer Merle Haggard said the song is not considered a "pure" Christmas record, as the subject of economics was also explored.
#2 - June 14, 2017, 10:50:08 AM
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Merle Haggard - Mama Tried


Mama Tried" is a song written and recorded by American country music artist Merle Haggard.

 It was released in July 1968 as the first single and title track from the album Mama Tried. The song became one of the cornerstone songs of his career.

It won the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1999, and was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry due to its "cultural, historic, or artistic significance" on March 23, 2016, just 14 days before Haggard's death.
#3 - April 03, 2018, 12:40:49 PM
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Merle Haggard - Somewhere Between


Somewhere Between is the debut studio album by the American country music singer-songwriter Suzy Bogguss, released on March 21, 1989 through Capitol Records. Preceded by the singles "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart" and "Somewhere Between", the album reached number 41 on the Billboard Top Country Albums during its 37-week chart stay. The album's third single "Cross My Broken Heart" peaked at number 14 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs. Following the album's success, Bogguss was named the Academy of Country Music's Top New Female Vocalist.

The album is titled after Merle Haggard's song "Somewhere Between", initially released in 1967 on the album Branded Man.
#4 - April 17, 2018, 10:21:01 AM
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Merle Haggard - Okie From Muskogee


Okie from Muskogee" is a song recorded by American country music artist Merle Haggard and The Strangers, which Haggard co-wrote with drummer Roy Edward Burris.

"Okie" is a slang name for someone from Oklahoma, and Muskogee is the 11th largest city in the state. The song was released in September 1969 as first single and title track from the album Okie from Muskogee, and was one of the most famous songs of Haggard's career.
#5 - September 27, 2018, 10:03:17 AM
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Merle Haggard - Fightin' Side Of Me


"The Fightin' Side of Me" is a song written and performed by American country music artist Merle Haggard and The Strangers. It was released in December 1969 as the first single and title track from the album The Fightin' Side of Me. The song became one of the most famous of his career.

In reference to his own 2002 patriot song, "Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue (The Angry American)," Toby Keith once called this song "the original Angry American song."
#6 - November 01, 2018, 11:26:04 AM
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