Merle Haggard - Rolling Stone
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Merle Haggard

The Life and Times of a Badass Legend From holding his first guitar to “cheap thrills and bad decisions,” see the legend through the years

Merle Haggard

Childhood photos of Merle Haggard in the early 1940s

Photographs courtesy of Merle Haggard

Merles brother, Lowell, and his sister, Lillian, were teenagers when his mother, Flossie, found out she was pregnant with Merle. "She sort of was embarrassed about it", Haggard says. "The children were nearly up and gone. They were going to move into this new little place. And then I came along." Haggard was born on April 6th, 1937. "When he was an infant, and I mean an infant Lillian once recalled, "Mother would turn the radio on, and when he heard what was then called 'Western music' his little feet would start keeping rhythm with the beat. We would change the station, nothing would happen. Put it back, the feet start moving again."

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