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Merle Haggard

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Interesting facts and trivia about Merle Haggard. By Songfacts®.

Born during the Great Depression, Merle Haggard's family followed the migration toward the West Coast and settled in Bakersfield, California. In and out of trouble with the law throughout most of his early years, Haggard was the epitome of the country outlaw sound he helped create. After ending up spending three years in prison in San Quentin, where he played in the prison band, Haggard turned his attention to music. California's governor, Ronald Reagan, issued Haggard a full pardon in 1972.

Haggard's first top 10 hit was "(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers" in 1965. From the 1960s through to his death in 2016, Haggard had 38 #1 country singles including classics such as "Mama Tried," "Okie from Muskogee," and "Today I Start Loving You Again," which has been covered more than 400 times. He told Rolling Stone magazine that the song that tops his list of songs he wishes he had written is Johnny Cash's "Ring Of Fire." He also gave his definition of great song: "It's got to make a blue flame go behind my left ear and chill bumps run all over my body."

Rarely shying away from offering his opinion, Haggard drew criticism from some during the Vietnam War for his patriotism at a time when the war was unpopular. Songs such as "The Fightin' Side of Me" were considered precursors to country music's patriotic anthems that later came into vogue. On the other hand, Haggard defended the Dixie Chicks when they came under fire in 2002 for making public statements that were critical of George W. Bush.

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Playlists

Playlists featuring Merle Haggard.
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0 Followers 4h 8m
Kota tua
0 Followers 1h 42m
Saloon 🏜♠️🚫
1 Follower 4h 16m
Working man’s PhD
0 Followers 1h 53m
Country horns
0 Followers 1h 29m
A catalogue because sometimes it can get hard to remember
An Empty Glass
0 Followers 1h 3m
Strictly Whiskey

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