Merle Haggard, Country Music's Outsider Hero, Dies at 79 in his NorCal Home

by Placerville Newswire / Apr 07, 2016 / comments

Merle Haggard, the grizzled country music legend whose songs such as "Okie from Muskogee" and "Fightin' Side of Me" made him a voice for the workingman and the outsider, has died. He was 79.  Haggard died Wednesday, his birthday, of complications from pneumonia at his home in Northern California, his agent Lance Roberts told CNN.

Merle Haggard overcame an early life of petty crime and a prison term in San Quentin to develop a rugged, outlaw image that helped sell millions of records.  Merle Haggard was also in Preston in Ione, Ca. at that castle, when he was a teen. 

 Haggard recorded more than thirty-six No. 1 country hits in a musical career that spanned six decades, from the 1960s into the 2010s.

Tributes immediately began pouring in from the country music world and beyond.  

"Country music has suffered one of the greatest losses it will ever experience," said country star Charlie Daniels on Twitter. "Rest in peace Merle Haggard."

"Love and prayers for the Haggard family. Merle was a pioneer ... a true entertainer ... a legend," added Carrie Underwood. "There will never be another like him."

"There are no words to describe the loss & sorrow felt within all of music with the passing of Merle Haggard. Thank God for his life & songs," said singer Brad Paisley.

Even when he's just playing music in his living room, Merle Haggard is absolutely stunning!  This rare footage is really something to get excited about, as Merle sings the classic song, "California Blues", right in his living room!  In 1969 Merle released a tribute album to the legendary Jimmie Rodgers called, Same Train, A Different Time. The album featured covers of Jimmies hit songs by Merle, including our personal favorite, "California Blues". Who doesn't love a song about the beautiful wild west: California! 

Check it out for yourself, and you'll feel like you're sitting right beside him while he sings "California Blues"! 

2012: Merle Haggard on religion, poverty and family --