Merle Haggard is a famous western and country singer, songwriter, fiddler and guitarist. He and his band The Strangers along with Buck Owens’s the Buckaroos, could be credited with having created the Bakersfield Sound, a somewhat modern twist on classical country music with the aid of new sounds and instruments. Haggard is going on tour, so if you are a fan of country music, be sure to catch this country legend live in action and buy Merle Haggard tickets as soon as possible.
Haggard faced very difficult circumstances as he was growing up, but he overcame all these adversities and became a prominent figure in the country movement scene in the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s. In recognition of his services to country music, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994 and was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 1997.
Merle Ronald Haggard was born on the 6th of April, 1937. He lost his father at an early age, when he died of a brain hemorrhage in 1945. This event affected Haggard quite deeply. To make ends meet, his mother got a job as a book keeper and, busy with that, she was unable to focus on Haggard. He slowly became rebellious, so much so that he was sent to a juvenile detention center. That was the beginning of a downward spiral which saw him being thrown in and getting out of detention centers for the best part of his early life. In 1957, Haggard was incarcerated in San Quentin jail for a botched robbery attempt, where he finally decided to turn his life around, and upon his release started to pursue music as a career. In 1972 Haggard was granted a full pardon for all his crimes by the then governor of California, Ronald Reagan.
Haggard’s musical journey began at the age of twelve, when his brother gave him his used guitar. He started learning how to play by listening to records at home and trying them out on his guitar. As a result he was heavily influenced by Hank Williams, Bob Wills and Lefty Frizzel. Haggard’s continuous trips to and from detention center’s did not help his musical career, however he did start playing at local bars and restaurants with a friend. In 1958, during his time at San Quentin, he saw a performance by the famous Johnny Cash, which inspired him to turn his life around and focus on music. He joined the prison’s country music band as a result and remained a member of the band till his release. After his release, Haggard moved to L.A and landed a contract with Tally Records in 1962 and released his first few songs with them. He scored his first major national hit with “Sing a Sad Song” in 1964. The following year he scored his first top ten record with “(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers”. He achieved country stardom with the release of “I’m a Lonesome Fugitive”, which was his first number one song on the charts.
He never looked back since and continued producing hit after hit during the following decades. Some of his most famous were the anthems “Okie from Muskogee", "I Wonder If They Think of Me" and "The Fightin' Side of Me". These songs struck a chord with the public and were considered the anthems of the silent majority. After the release of “Carolyn”, which was another number one hit, he was pardoned by Ronald Reagan. His domination of the charts continued with “Grandma Harp”, “The Roots of My Raising” and “If We Make it Through December”, a song about the 1973 recession, which once again made him the champion of the working class. All in all he scored thirty eight number one hits on Billboard’s country music singles charts from 1967 to 1988. So do not miss an opportunity to catch this country legend live and get Merle Haggard tickets now.