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2016

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Country Songwriter Freddy Powers Dead at 84

June 22, 2016

Lauded songwriter, producer and musician Freddy Powers died Tuesday after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. He was 84. The Seminole, Texas native penned a string of Number One hits for Merle Haggard in the Eighties, including "Let's Chase Each...

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Merle Haggard's Last Song Set for Release

May 11, 2016

Merle Haggard's final recording will be unveiled tomorrow (May 12th). According to the late legend's official website, "Kern River Blues" will premiere on SiriusXM's Willie's Roadhouse channel, then be available for download on merlehaggard.com and...

Video

How Merle Haggard, Big Sean Influenced Mike Posner's Album

May 6, 2016

"If anyone has listened to my stuff over the years, they know I tend not to do the same thing twice," Mike Posner tells Rolling Stone. "Sometimes that's not the best thing for my career commercially, but it's the best thing for my heart." On his...

News

Kacey Musgraves Leads G Fest Lineup

May 2, 2016

Kacey Musgraves has been announced as one of the performers at the inaugural G Fest in honor of late country legend Merle Haggard. Set for June 16th through the 18th in the Haggard-immortalized town Muskogee, Oklahoma, the three-day festival also includes...

Video

See Scotty McCreery's Warm Tribute to Merle Haggard

April 27, 2016

In Scotty McCreery's upcoming book Go Big or Go Home, the singer makes multiple mentions of his love for more traditional country music — a statement anyone who watched him compete on American Idol should be able to verify. On April 12th, he showed...

Video

Watch Chris Stapleton's Poignant Salute to Merle Haggard

April 25, 2016

Over the weekend, Chris Stapleton fearlessly tackled a classic Prince tune at one of his solo headlining shows. Days earlier, he was offering a tribute to another recently departed giant when he performed Merle Haggard's "Today I Started Loving You Again."  "Probably...

Video

Merle Haggard's Life, Legend Celebrated in Rolling Stone

April 21, 2016

"The spirit of the American people is the only thing that can save America," Merle Haggard told Rolling Stone Managing Editor Jason Fine in an interview for the magazine a few years ago. "Not the spirit of America, the spirit of the American people. If...

List

Country's 20 Highest Drug Odes

April 20, 2016

So maybe the late Merle Haggard didn’t smoke marijuana in Muskogee or take trips on LSD, but that certainly didn't stop country's greats from trading a shot of Tennessee brown for a toke of Colorado green — and singing about it, too. But true...

News

Read Tom Waits' Poetic Tribute to Merle Haggard

April 19, 2016

Growing up around San Diego, California, Tom Waits was drawn to the far-away sounds of the Delta blues, Motown, Bob Dylan and Frank Sinatra. But another artist from closer to home also made a mark on the singer-songwriter: Merle Haggard, who passed away...

Video

Watch Merle Haggard's 'Austin City Limits' Debut

April 18, 2016

During the 40-year run of classic PBS music series Austin City Limits, country legend Merle Haggard made multiple appearances that included some of the late singer's most memorable tunes, from "Sing Me Back Home" to "The Fugitive." Both of those songs...

Interview

Willie Nelson Recalls 50-Year Friendship With Merle Haggard

April 15, 2016

Merle Haggard, who died last week at 79, considered Willie Nelson one of his closest friends. "I love Willie and I think Willie loves me," Haggard told Rolling Stone in 2014, detailing how the two bonded on the Nevada casino circuit...

Feature

Merle Haggard: The Outlaw

May 5, 2016

It all came from that evening, in spring 1946. Merle Haggard was nine. He had been at a Church of Christ prayer meeting outside Bakersfield, California, with his mother, Flossie. The young boy didn't like church. This night he meant to race home, where...

Video

Toby Keith on Haggard Tribute: 'He's a Big Part of My Life'

May 2, 2016

When the producers of Sunday night's American Country Countdown Awards approached Toby Keith about playing a tribute to his musical hero, Merle Haggard, he didn't have to think twice. "He was always really a good person to me," said Keith of Haggard,...

Video

Hear Vince Gill's New Song About Merle Haggard

April 26, 2016

At this year's star-studded All for the Hall concert, Vince Gill celebrated his 59th birthday by paying tribute to Merle Haggard, who died just one week earlier, on his 79th birthday. "On my birthday, I want to honor the greatest inspiration I ever...

News

Toby Keith to Honor Merle Haggard at ACC Awards

April 21, 2016

The late Merle Haggard will be honored at the May 1st American Country Countdown Awards with a special performance by his former band and Toby Keith. The Country Music Hall of Famer passed away April 6th at the age of 79; the ACCAs are the first awards...

Feature

Inside Merle Haggard's Final Years

April 20, 2016

One evening around sunset, Merle Haggard was leaning against his silver tour bus, the Santa Fe Super Chief, before a show at the Crazy Horse Saloon on the dusty fringes of Orange County, California. He stared off grimly at the brown, rolling hills that...

News

Merle Haggard Movie to Depict Legend's Storied Journey

April 19, 2016

For decades, Merle Haggard encapsulated the details of his turbulent life into honest country songs. Now, his extraordinary journey from San Quentin inmate to country music legend is headed for the big screen. According to Deadline, a script based on...

Interview

Jamey Johnson on Merle Haggard: 'He Was a Mentor to Me'

April 18, 2016

Jamey Johnson is one of the fortunate individuals to have counted the late Merle Haggard among his friends, and his honest, sympathetic approach to songs about working-class life makes him one of the country legend's closest modern analogs. The two...

Interview

Read Keith Richards' Solemn Tribute to Merle Haggard

April 18, 2016

Keith Richards was facing seven years in prison in 1977 for a massive drug bust at his Toronto hotel room. The night before he was sentenced, he headed to Toronto's Interchange Studios and recorded several songs he'd learned from his late friend...

Video

See Sam Hunt's Soulful Merle Haggard Tribute

April 14, 2016

Sam Hunt tends to get a lot of grief from some corners of the country listening audience for his smoothed-out, thoroughly modern approach to making music, but he still has a deep love of the classics. At the All 4 the Hall benefit show on Tuesday, Hunt...

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