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RIP Merle Haggard

Len Cnut

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RIP Hag. Made my heart hurt when I found out. What a stand up guy. Tough sob too. People who don't mess with country won't get it, but this is like someone like Dylan or McCartney or somebody passing away. He meant that much. Helped put Bakersfield California on the map. Just absolutely loved the man. Legendary.

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Nice little article about how he was serving time at San Quentin when Cash played there. Inspired him to start writing songs. (Not to steal any shine from him, but damn, that's three country legends that owe their start to Cash). And 38 #1 hits, Go ahead Hag.

Haggard did his first stint in jail at age 11, when his mother turned him over to the juvenile authorities as “incorrigible.” As a teenager, Haggard went into jail at least three more times, and went out via escape at least once. In 1957, at the age of 18, Haggard was arrested on a burglary charge and sentenced to 15 years in San Quentin. He ended up serving only two years of that sentence, though, and he credits Cash with giving him the inspiration to launch a career after prison that included 38 #1 hits on the country charts, including “Sing Me Back Home,” “Okie From Muskogee” and “Today I Started Loving You Again.” Of Johnny Cash’s prison debut, Haggard said this: “He had the right attitude. He chewed gum, looked arrogant and flipped the bird to the guards—he did everything the prisoners wanted to do. He was a mean mother from the South who was there because he loved us. When he walked away, everyone in that place had become a Johnny Cash fan.”

Edited by J Dog
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