The Poet of the Common Man

@FourWalls (10644)
United States
April 6, 2016 1:01pm CST
A few minutes ago I had a discussion up about today being Merle Haggard's 79th birthday. I had to remove it. Haggard died today. Born in California, Haggard's early songs about prisoners -- "Mama Tried" (with its chorus of "I turned 21 in prison doing life without parole"), "Sing Me Back Home," "I'm a Lonesome Fugitive," and "Branded Man" -- came from experience. Haggard was indeed a prisoner, incarcerated at San Quentin for attempted robbery and escape. On New Year's Day 1959 Johnny Cash did a show for the prisoners, inspiring Haggard to "go straight" and concentrate on music. In 1972 then-California governor Ronald Reagan issued Haggard a full and complete pardon. The pardon is on display at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. Haggard had been struggling with recurring bouts of pneumonia in the past. He had double pneumonia in December that he later admitted to Rolling Stone "nearly killed me." After a couple of dates on the road in early March he was again forced to cancel for health reasons. Haggard was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters' Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame, was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Grammy award. A sad and loving farewell to the man known as "the Poet of the Common Man," whose 79th birthday turned out to be his last day alive.
Bonnie was a waitress in a small cafe Clyde Barrow was the rounder that took her away They both robbed and killed until both of them died So goes the Legend ...
8 people like this
9 responses
@JohnRoberts (41889)
• Los Angeles, California
6 Apr 16
This is like Bowie in rock. The passing of a true country legend. I am down the freeway from Bakersfield so that sound led by Haggard and Buck Owens has always been celebrated in SoCal.
3 people like this
@DWDavis (10916)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
7 Apr 16
RIP Merle Haggard. Your songs will let us remember you, but you will be missed. There are so few of the genuine article left, and you were among the most genuine of all.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (54526)
• Pleasant Hill, California
7 Apr 16
Heard it on the news this morning. For some reason, this is my favorite Merle song:
Kern River by Merl Haggard
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (103638)
• Bunbury, Australia
7 Apr 16
I'm sorry to hear of his passing. I loved his voice and his music. I didn't know that hearing Johnny Cash helped turn him around.
1 person likes this
@Telynor (1124)
• United States
6 Apr 16
I listened to a bit of a discussion about him on NPR; it was a rather nice tribute.
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (37075)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
6 Apr 16
He was one of my favorite country singers.
1 person likes this
6 Apr 16
I grew up listening to Country Greats like Haggard...back when Country Music was still Country Music. RIP Merle and thanks for the memories.
1 person likes this
@cindiowens (3916)
• North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
6 Apr 16
A time to be born, and a time to die. Sad.
1 person likes this
@amadeo (51044)
• United States
6 Apr 16
I just came back.Did I missed something.Did he pass today?
@FourWalls (10644)
• United States
6 Apr 16
Yes. He'd been suffering with recurring bouts of pneumonia since November.