Country legend, Merle Haggard, is dead at 79. Read the New York Times obituary
Merle Haggard, a contrarian populist whose songs about his scuffling early life and his time in prison made him the closest thing that country music had to a real-life outlaw hero, died on Wednesday, his 79th birthday.
His death, on his birthday, was confirmed by his former publicist Jim Della Croce, who could not provide further details. Mr. Haggard had recently canceled several concerts, saying he had double pneumonia.
Unlike his friend Johnny Cash, Mr. Haggard didn’t merely visit San Quentin State Prison to perform for the inmates. Convicted of burglary in 1957, he served nearly three years there and spent his 21st birthday in solitary confinement.
Merle Haggard – Okie From Muskogee (Live)
Merle Haggard – “Sing Me Back Home”