Merle Haggard

Merle Haggard


Merle Haggard was an American country singer, songwriter, and fiddler born on 6 April 1937, In California, U.S

Family Background:

He was born to James Francis and Flossie Mae Haggard. His family stayed in boxcar which had been converted into a house. When Haggard was eight years old, his father died of a brain hemorrhage.

Personal Life:

In 1956, He had married Leona Hobbs. They had four children together. In 1964, They divorced. In 1965, He had married successful country singer Bonnie Owens. They divorced after thirteen years together. His next two marriages to Leona Williams and Debbie Parret and lasted five and six years individually. In 1993, He married last time Theresa Ann Lane with whom he had two children, Jenessa and Ben.


He couldn’t attend school due to a respiratory condition which had made him bedridden.


Following his father’s demise, he gradually became a rebel and was sent to a juvenile detention center but to no avail. He revealed in petty theft, forgery, and shoplifting. On being sent to the detention center again, He had run away to Texas with his friend and traveled throughout the state. After his return from the trip, He did another work at the detention center, but emerged yet again and went to Modesto, California, where He did numerous odd jobs such as truck driver, cook, hay pitcher, etc. During this period, he started performing at bars with his friend. In the early 1950s, He had been sent to prison three more times for different offenses. At country musician Lefty Frizzell’s concert, Frizzell heard him singing backstage and pushed Haggard to sing on stage. Due to the audiences’ good response, he made up his mind to take up music as a career. He ran into financial problems and tried in vain to rob an inn in 1957, subsequently getting arrested and held that year. He had a turbulent time in prison as he had been involved in failed rescue attempts, starting illegal activities like gambling, drinking, etc. Soon after his release, He pursued his music career and performed at a bar in Bakersfield. After some time He moved to Las Vegas and began playing bass guitar for Lynn Stewart. In 1962, He signed for Tally Records and recorded five songs. From 1967 to 1969, he released six number one singles, such as Branded Man, Mama Tried and Workin’ Man Blues. His song Okie from Muskogee, which Haggard wrote in response to the American protests against the Vietnam War, achieved widespread popularity and acclaim. In the early 1970s, He consistently delivered number-one hits such as ‘Someday We’ll be looking Back, Carolyn, Grandma Harp, Always Wanting You, The Roots of My Raising, etc. As he dominated country-music charts.

In 2008, He had contacted Lung Cancer and had to undergo surgery to remove a part of his lung containing the tumor. Post the surgery, He had grown rapidly and begun traveling and performing again. He died of complexities from pneumonia on the morning of April 6, 2016, on his 79th birthday, At his home in Palo Cedro, California.

Merle Haggard

Unknown Facts:

  • His real name was Merle Ronald Haggard.
  • When He was a kid, Haggard suffered from a respiratory problem.

Master Stroke:

  • Merle Haggard is one of the most serious musicians in the history of country music.

Awards and Achievements:

  • In 1966, He had been awarded the Top Male Vocalist award.
  • In 1969, He had received the Album of the Year award.
  • In 1984, He had received the Grammy Award.
  • In 1999, He acquired a ‘Grammy Hall of Fame Award’.

What can we learn from Him??

Like Merle Haggard, Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers, You cannot be successful or happy.

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