Fellow Stars Pay Tribute to Merle Haggard

Country Music Stars, Fans, and Industry Insiders Reflect on Merle Haggard.

Moe Bandy Pays Tribute to Merle Haggard

Tanya Tucker Honors Merle Haggard’s Memory

Gene Watson Remembers Merle Haggard

Jeannie Seely Reminisces About Merle Haggard

Country Music Stars Share Memories of Merle Haggard

Fellow Stars Pay Tribute to Merle Haggard

April 7, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn (RFD-TV) Tributes are pouring in for one of country music's original outlaws. On RFD-TV’s “Market Day Report” this morning, Moe Bandy, Tanya Tucker, Gene Watson, Jeannie Seely, and other country music luminaries paid their respects and shared memories of Merle.

The legendary country music singer died Wednesday, after battling pneumonia in recent months. 

Looking back at the struggles that made Haggard such an authentic icon, NBC’s Harry Smith said, “Merle Haggard was a man whose soul was forged in hard times and prison yards. When he sang you knew it was the truth.”

While serving time in San Quentin, Haggard saw Johnny Cash perform and said, “That’s what I want to do.” It’s safe to say that music saved Haggard’s life. As he said himself, with a laugh, “That’s what I’m for; that's what I do. I eat, sleep and breath it, and people around me, if they can’t handle it, they just have to get away.”

Few performers could cut to the quick of an audience the way Haggard could. Hard luck, love gone wrong – his song were covered by everyone from The Everly Brothers to the Grateful Dead. His influence on generations of country music performers is immeasurable.

Haggard used to say, “I’ve never been a guy who could do what people told me.” And for that we are thankful.

Wednesday was also Merle Haggard’s birthday; he was 79 years old. His funeral will be held at his home in Palo Cedro, California on Saturday. Marty Stuart will officiate and sing, along with his wife, Connie Smith. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Merle’s family and friends.

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