Merle Haggard, one of country music’s legends died today – on his 79th birthday – after being ill with double pneumonia according to his manager.
He’d been battling back from the illness and even scheduled a string of concert dates with his pal Willie Nelson. They released an album, “Django and Jimmie” last year. Just last week, he canceled his shows because he was still trying to recover. He even predicted to his friends that he would die on his birthday.
His career spanned six decades and he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994. Some of his best known songs are ‘That’s the Way Love Goes,’ his signature song ‘Okie From Muskogee,’ and ‘Mama Tried’ from the 1968 album of the same name where he honored his mother.
Via Rolling Stone:
Haggard didn’t look far for material. His greatest songs – the Depression-era poverty described in “Hungry Eyes,” the prison diaries “Sing Me Back Home” and “Mama Tried,” the hard-living anthems like “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink” and “Back to the Barrooms” – were all taken from the pages of Haggard’s own life.
Here are just a few of the tributes being shared on Twitter in his honor:
— George Jones (@gjpossum) April 6, 2016
RIP Merle Haggard. To All my friends in Sanford Fla we had many memories with Hag on in the background. Tonight play silver wings in salute
— Larry The Cable Guy (@GitRDoneLarry) April 6, 2016
Just heard the legendary Merle Haggard has passed away. One of the all time all time greats. #SilverWings
— Steve Austin (@steveaustinBSR) April 6, 2016
He inspired generations of musicians and his talents will be missed. Sending prayers out to his family for their loss.