April 06, 2017
Country music legend, Merle Haggard, would have celebrated his 80th birthday today. The California native, who passed away one year ago, on his 79th birthday, was a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, the recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and had a total of 38 #1 country hits to his credit. Happy Birthday, Merle – you will surely always be remembered as one of the greats!
On Thursday, April 6th, Music City celebrated "The Hag's" birthday at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN. The sold out show with top musicians and 18K fans packed out a celebration concert called "The Music of Merle," which included musical greats such as Willie Nelson, Keith Richards, Ronnie Dunn, Alabama, Connie Smith, Bobby Bare, Sheryl Crow, Hank Williams Jr., Kacey Musgraves, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and more. The three-hour show was emceed by actor W. Earl Brown of Deadwood fame. Merle's son, Ben Haggard kicked off the show with his dad's band, "The Strangers" with “What Am I Gonna Do (With the Rest of My Life).” Ben and the Strangers stayed onstage while other musical greats sang "I'm a Lonesome Fugitive" (Bobby Bare), "That's the Way Love Goes" (Connie Smith), and "Daddy Frank the Guitar Man" (Toby Keith). A highlight of the night included Miranda Lambert who crooned a crowd favorite with "Misery and Gin." April 6th has now been officially proclaimed as "Merle Haggard Day" in Nashville."
"Music of Merle" Concert - Mayor Berry Declares Apr. 6 "Merle Haggard Day" in Nashville
"Music of Merle" Concert - Show Finale