A popular country singer
who has released over 65 albums since his career began in 1963.
Born on April 6, 1937 in Bakerfield, CA, Merle struggled through a rough childhood. His father died at age nine,
He ran away from home at age 14 and was sent to reform school until he was 17. At age 18 he ended up in jail for dealing stolen goods.
At the age of 21, Merle married his first wife and spent the year serving time in San Quentin
. In 1960, Merle was paroled on good behavior and began singing in nightclub
s at night. In 1962, Merle had signed a contract with Talley Records and a year later, Merle's first album had a hit single.
The rest is history. From that moment on Merle has had over 39 #1 country hits and received numerous other awards. Merle's music is said to "represent an unusual intersection in American music, a crossroad where folk, pop, jazz and blues traditions are used to create his own soul
-baring form of
expression." Merle is also the only California born country singer in the Country Music Hall of Fame
In my opinion, Merle Haggard is one of the greatest country singers alive. I idolized Hank Williams, and he was a big
influence on me, but when it comes to current singers, Merle is one of my favorites. There aren't many true country
singers left. Merle Haggard is one of them.
-- George Jones
Editors Note: Merle Haggard died on April 6, 2016, his 79th birthday, from complications with pneumonia
The discography may come later, but it'll take some time..