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Died On This Date (April 6, 2016) Merle Haggard / Country Music Icon

Posted by themusicsover on April 6, 2016

Merle Haggard
April 6, 1937 – April 6, 2016

Merle-HaggardMerle Haggard was a country music legend who, along with Buck Owens, created the blueprint for what would become known as the “Bakersfield Sound,” a reaction to the slickly produced pop leaning country records that were coming out of Nashville at the time. Developed in local honky-tonks, the sound was built around the foundation of traditional country, the twang of a Telecaster, and the rough edge of vocals like Haggard’s.  Haggard also came to represent all that became “outlaw country.”  Songs like “Skid Row,” “They’re Tearing the Labor Camps Down,” “Okie From Muskogee,” “The Bottle Let Me Down,” “The Fightin’ Side of Me,” and “White Line Fever” found a huge audience with fans who could personally identify with the lyrics.  Over the course of a career that spanned five decades, Haggard scored nearly 40 #1 hit singles, a combined total of 25 ACM and CMA awards, three Grammys, and numerous other accolades.  His most recent album, 2015’s Django & Jimmie, with Willie Nelson, hit #1 on the Country charts and #7 on the Top 200. Not bad for an album that was recorded in just three days.  Merle Haggard passed away on April 6, 2016, his 79th birthday.  Cause of death was not immediately released although he had been battling pneumonia.

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