Kennedy Center honors The Hag
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
– Merle Haggard is being honored as one of five artists, including Paul McCartney, to receive the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts 2010 Kennedy Center Honors.
Haggard will receive the honor Dec. 5 along with lyricist Jerry Herman; dancer, choreographer and director Bill T. Jones and producer, television host and actress Oprah Winfrey.
"The Kennedy Center celebrates five individuals who have spent their lives enriching, inspiring and elevating the cultural vibrancy of our nation and the world," said Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein."The honesty of Merle Haggard's music and poetic lyrics has helped to shape the world of country music for nearly five decades."
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CD reviews for Merle Haggard
Read Merle Haggard's Wikipedia entry. It talks, in the second sentence, of his having helped create the Bakersfield sound, with its "rough edge." Later, it discusses, at some length, his conservative touchstones, in particular Okie From Muskogee. While, in Wikipedia fashion, that may capture the popular perception of the recent Kennedy Center honoree, it doesn't hit at the core of what made him, along with Willie Nelson and George Jones, one of country music's three most ...
It seems that the legendary country artists who survive to their later years, often make some of their best music during that time. It certainly was true with Johnny Cash and apparently Merle Haggard is primed to follow suit. The evidence of that is spread all over his new 12-song outing.
Haggard has gone introspective, but he has done it in such a way that most of the songs are easy for the listeners to apply to their own experiences. The opener, I've Seen It Go Away, is about losing the ...
The Strangers are a talented and extremely flexible band, as Haggard's mood can vary from showing off his rich singing voice on ballads to playing the jazzy guitar hero via Western swing material. Thus, it takes a multi-faceted combo, like The Strangers, to keep up with Haggard's many moods.
This disc collects 15 Haggard TV clips, and the man is definitely not lip synching his way through these performances. For instance, viewers can clearly hear The Hag clear his throat right before ...