38 Facts About Merle Haggard

1. Merle Haggard helped care for Merle Haggard's children from his first marriage, and was the maid of honor for Haggard's third marriage.

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2. In 1965, Merle Haggard got married for the second time to a country singer, Bonnie Owens.

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3. In 1956, Merle Haggard married Leona Hobbs and had four children.

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4. In 1960, Merle Haggard teamed up with the Bakersfield country team.

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5. Merle Haggard used to leave Merle Haggard in the safe hands of his great uncle and aunt.

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6. Merle Haggard was born in 1937 in a railroad boxcar his father had converted into a house near Bakersf ield, California.

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7. Merle Haggard published his second autobiography, My House of Memories, in 2002.

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8. Merle Haggard surprised many in the music industry when he signed with Anti Records, an imprint of the predominantly punk label Epitaph, in 2000.

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9. Merle Haggard was born in 1937 in a railroad boxcar his father had converted into a house near Bakersfield, California.

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10. Merle Haggard is the rare artist who has actually lived that life.

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11. Merle Haggard died at home on his Northern California Ranch on April 6, 2016, his 79th birthday.

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12. Merle Haggard was born on April 6, 1937, near Bakersfield, California.

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13. Merle Haggard appeared in season five, episode three of The Waltons called "The Comeback".

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14. Merle Haggard was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1977, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in 1994, and the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 1997.

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15. Merle Haggard was buried in a private funeral at his ranch on April 9, 2016; longtime friend Marty Stuart officiated.

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16. On December 5, 2015, Merle Haggard was treated at an undisclosed hospital in California for pneumonia.

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17. Merle Haggard is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records and many encyclopedias.

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18. Merle Haggard described himself as a student of music, philosophy and communication.

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19. Merle Haggard quit smoking cigarettes in 1991, and stopped smoking marijuana in 1995.

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20. Merle Haggard said he started smoking marijuana when he was 41 years old.

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21. Merle Haggard married his fifth wife, Theresa Ann Lane, on September 11, 1993.

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22. Merle Haggard credited her with helping him make his big break as a country artist.

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23. Merle Haggard was married five times, first to Leona Hobbs from 1956 to 1964.

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24. Merle Haggard endorsed Fender guitars and had a Custom Artist signature model Telecaster.

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25. In 1983, Merle Haggard got permission from Epic Records to collaborate with then-wife Leona Williams on Polydor Records, releasing Heart to Heart in 1983.

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26. In 1972, Merle Haggard agreed to produce Gram Parsons's first solo album, but backed out at the last minute.

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27. Merle Haggard went on to record duets with George Jones, Willie Nelson, and Clint Eastwood, among others.

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28. Merle Haggard collaborated with many other artists over the course of his career.

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29. In 2000, Merle Haggard made a comeback of sorts, signing with the independent record label Anti and releasing the spare If I Could Only Fly to critical acclaim.

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30. Merle Haggard was hampered by financial woes well into the 1990s, as his presence on the charts diminished in favor of newer country singers, such as George Strait and Randy Travis.

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31. Merle Haggard changed record labels again in 1981, moving to Epic and releasing one of his most critically acclaimed albums, Big City, on which he was backed by The Strangers.

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32. Merle Haggard wrote and performed the theme song to the television series Movin' On, which in 1975 gave him and The Strangers another number-one country hit.

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33. Merle Haggard looks the part and sounds the part because he is the part.

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34. In 1967, Merle Haggard recorded "I'm a Lonesome Fugitive with The Strangers", written by Liz Anderson with her husband Casey Anderson, which became his first number-one single.

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35. Merle Haggard was released from San Quentin on parole in 1960.

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36. Merle Haggard played for the prison's country music band, attributing a performance by Johnny Cash at the prison on New Year's Day 1959 as his main inspiration to join it.

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37. Merle Haggard was sent to a juvenile detention center for shoplifting in 1950.

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38. Merle Haggard committed a number of minor offenses, such as thefts and writing bad checks.

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