Goodbye to Merle Haggard

Merle Haggard, the working man’s poet, an architect of the Bakersfield Sound, and a fiercely independent artist who influenced country music like few others, died Wednesday in California. He had just turned 79 years old.

I love Mama Tried (“I turned twenty-one in prison doing life without parole”) and Pancho & Lefty, a duet with Willie Nelson. Haggard recorded 40 number one country hits during his career.

I saw Merle perform in Hirsch Coliseum, and it was a great concert. I am genuinely sad.


Same Old Train

They came from the hills and mountains,
The valleys and the plains
Some were kind and gentle,
And some too wild to tame

A string of fearless hearts, on an endless ball of twine
It’s the same old train, it’s just a different time
Just a different time