courtesy of by Jeremy Roberts Flickr (cc)

courtesy of by Jeremy Roberts Flickr (cc)

Country music legend Merle Haggard passed away today on his 79th birthday. According to Haggard’s manager, Frank Mull, the country music icon and 1994 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee succumbed to pneumonia.

Music Row

America has lost one of its greatest song poets.

Singer, songwriter, guitarist, fiddler, bandleader and music legend Merle Haggard died today on his 79th birthday.

One of the most influential and revered artists in music, Haggard was a permanent fixture on the country charts for three decades. He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is also the recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a Kennedy Center honoree.

Perhaps no other singer-songwriter in contemporary country music has assembled as large a body of practically unblemished work. He stands almost alone in terms of artistic consistency, musical integrity, purpose and vision.

His songwriting achievements include such classics as “Mama Tried,” “Sing Me Back Home,” “Okie From Muskogee,” “Hungry Eyes,” “Workin’ Man Blues,” “If We Make It Through December,” “Big City” and “Today I Started Loving You Again,” among many, many others. His recorded legacy is vast and varied. He venerated blues, swing, pop, folk, gospel, honky-tonk, rockabilly and several other roots genres. Haggard respected country tradition and recorded tributes to Jimmie Rodgers (1969), Bob Wills (1970) and Elvis Presley (1977). He recorded with The Texas Playboys as well as with Mother Maybelle and The Carter Sisters, George Jones, Willie Nelson and Ernest Tubb….

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RIP Merle Haggard. God bless you and thank you for your contribution.

Sympathies, peace and blessings to the family, friends and loved ones of Merle Haggard.