Country music icon, outlaw poet and one of the greatest songwriters in American music history, Merle Haggard passed away on his 79th birthday, a premonition that he shared with his family. "The Bottle Let Me Down", "Branded Man", "Mama Tried", "Working Man Blues", "High On A Hilltop", "Silver Wings", "(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers"...so many great tunes. And his politics veered left sometime in the last 20 years, even recording an anti-war song about the Iraq war. One of my personal favorite songwriters. "Sing me back home..."
Sure, some harsh folks can get on my case about liking a honky country music star, but as far as I am concerned he was the genre's best, a great songwriter and a respectable bandleader. No apologies here.
One of his great tunes:
Here's Merle's 1972 song about interracial love, a tuned that irked the Grand Ole Opry folks:
Some Merle live footage: