Merle Haggard was inspired to make music when he was in prison, and saw a concert by country music giant Johnny Cash there.
Since then he has had a long career with lyrics deeply rooted in the American working class.
Merle Haggard produced 38 albums that topped the lists and won two Grammy during his long career.
He also produced music for film and television, including the theme song to the TV show “Movin ‘ ‘on “from the 1970s. Artists and bands like the Grateful Dead, Dolly Parton, The Byrds, Emmylou Harris and many others have recorded his songs.
Haggard was born and lived in California. Growing up poor and was marred by petty crimes. A botched robbery attempt sent him to the prison of San Quentin in three years in the late 1950s. He saw where Johnny Cash occur and the two later became friends, writes Variety.
Haggard was a giant in country music, who wrote the music, sang, played guitar and violin. Among his most famous songs are “Okie from Muskogee,” “Today I started Loving You Again” and “Working Man Blues”.
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Later this year, he would have toured with country colleague Willie Nelson.
Merle Haggard died on his 79 birthday.