Requiem for an Okie

So, Merle Haggard is gone, on his 79th birthday, from pneumonia. From Fox News:

Born outside of Bakersfield, California, in 1937, Haggard, the son of Oklahoma migrants, was raised in a converted railway boxcar, the only home his family could afford. Famous for his prison stint in San Quentin, Haggard said music was his only opportunity out of poverty.

“My decisions have been easy,” he told the Associated Press in 2014. “It was either back in the cotton patch or go to work in the oil fields. … They didn’t compare with music. I was able to make more money in a beer joint when I first started than I was digging ditches.”

The gruff, baritone-voiced singer became known for his classic tunes about drifters, convicts and blue collar workers, including “Workin’ Man Blues.” His tunes celebrated outlaws, underdogs and had an abiding sense of national pride. But he said back in 2014 that after writing some 700 songs, it’s hard to find a subject he hasn’t written about yet. […]

“I’ll tell you what the public likes more than anything,” he told the Boston Globe in 1999. “It’s the most rare commodity in the world — honesty.”

The Byrds, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Grateful Dead, Emmylou Harris, Dwight Yoakam, Lucinda Williams and Reba McEntire all covered his songs, while many others paid tribute to him in theirs. In the Dixie Chicks’ “Long Time Gone, which criticizes Nashville trends, the trio crooned: “We listen to the radio to hear what’s cookin’ / But the music ain’t got no soul / Now they sound tired but they don’t sound Haggard.”

via Merle Haggard dead on his 79th birthday | Fox News

 

And this, of course

 

 

Perhaps they are, but we will always remember them, and their bards.

Requiescant in pace

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About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

19 Responses to Requiem for an Okie

  1. A little piece of Americana…RIP!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Btw, I have a Fender Strat, (from the 60’s), a Fender Jazz Bass, and an old Martin acoustic DX1. I have been playing since about 8, and love Country… Not bad for an old Irish Brit!

    Like

  3. the unit says:

    I really liked his songs back in late ’60’s. Then in early 70’s got busy in career and starting a family and stopped listening intently to practically any music. Wasn’t infatuated with any entertainer to follow and attend concerts and such ever.
    I think it’s nice you gave him notice in a blog.
    I probably wouldn’t agree with his ideas, if he really had any worthwhile, on the as he said, “big old political game…” Neither here nor there for this blog
    RIP Mr. Haggard.

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      No, politically, from what I’ve read, I’d disagree a lot with him, but I loved his music back when I was young.

      Liked by 1 person

      • the unit says:

        Yeah, I was still pretty young in ’68-’69. Jacking up car to DIY tailpipe and muffler.
        His song then was “Shade Tree Fix-it Man.” They even made a tool to split away the old rusted pipe parts by hammering. I was heck of a job. One today no American would do , or probably a Mexican. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          🙂

          Like

  4. My dad loved Haggard’s music.

    Liked by 2 people

    • NEO says:

      I liked it myself, but back in the day, one didn’t hear it a lot! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • True, 😦

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    • the unit says:

      For your dad And you two Indiana chums. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you, :).

        Liked by 2 people

        • the unit says:

          Well, you’re welcome. I shouldn’t but, I presume your dad’s past on. Like mine. They would work in the sun, rain, and windstorm for us if necessary and did.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Yea, my dad is past. He sure did, :).

          Liked by 2 people

      • NEO says:

        Excellent, Unit!! 🙂 You pretty much made my day, you two! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          I remembered y’all’s Indiana connection. Seen the Angels comments here there and yonder, here and elsewhere.
          Took me a few weeks though as got a Lafayette in my stomping grounds you know. Lou. to NW Florida. And lots more… 🙂
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lafayette

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Yep, I went to college in West Lafayette, which is where she’s from originally. Boiler Up! 🙂 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          Yeah, I’ll never forget the Boilermakers. You do remember the South MS creosote pond pole soakers? 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          I do! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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