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The Hag releases final song

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 – Merle Haggard may have been sick the last few months of his life battling the pneumonia that finally felled him. But he also spent time recording a few songs with "Kern River Blues" slated to be out on Thursday on SiriusXM channel's Willie's Roadhouse.

While sick, The Hag was hospitalized for much of the time, resulting in the cancellation of most of his concerts.

When it was suggested that he not go back on the road and rest at home, he did while also walking across the road to his studio to record a few songs he'd been writing while in the hospital. "Kern River Blues," which is about his memories of leaving Bakersfield in the late '70s, was his final song.

Haggard's family wanted to thank people for their support during his illness and decided to release the song. After debuting on SiriusXM Channel Willie's Roadhouse (which can be heard on SiriusXM channel 59 and through the SiriusXM app on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online at siriusxm.com), the song will be available at the Haggard web site and iTunes. Ten percent of all gross proceeds from the sale of this song will go to homeless charities.

"Kern River Blues" lyrics are:
I'm leavin' town tomorrow
Get my breakfast in the sky
Well, I'm leavin' in the early morning
Eat my breakfast in the sky
Be a donut on a paper
Drink my coffee on the fly

I'm flying out on a jet plane
Gonna leave this town behind
I'm flying out on a jet plane
Gonna leave this town behind
They've done moved the city limits
Out by the county line

Put my head up to the window
Watch the city fade away
Put my head close to the window
Watch Oildale fade away
The blues back in the '30s
Just like the blues today

There used to be a river here
Runnin' deep and wide
Well, they used to have Kern River
Runnin' deep and wide
Then somebody stole the water
Another politician lied

When you closed down all the honky tonks
The city died at night
When you closed down all the honky tonks
The city died at night
When it hurt somebody's feelings
Well, a wrong ain't never right

Well, I'm leaving town forever
Kiss an old boxcar goodbye
Well, I'm leaving town forever
Kiss an old boxcar goodbye
I dug my blues down in the river
But the old Kern River is dry

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CD reviews for Merle Haggard

Working in Tennessee CD review - Working in Tennessee
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 »»»
I Am What I Am CD review - I Am What I Am
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 »»»
Legendary Performances DVD CD review - Legendary Performances DVD
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 »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: With or without band, Isbell satisfies – Usually, when an artist performs without his regular backing band, it becomes about mathematics of subtraction. That artist is armed with far fewer artistic weapons at his/her disposal, after all. In Jason Isbell's case, though, when he performed with just his wife and fiddler Amanda Shires, it was more about substitution than subtraction.... »»»
Concert Review: Grammy nominations aside, Yola, Kiah are the real deal – Grammy nominations do not make the artist, but Yola and opener Amythyst Kiah underscored time and again on this night that the honors were well deserved. In fact, Yola and Kiah's other group, Our Native Daughters, are nominated in the same category - Best American Roots. Yola has three other nominations as well. The clear winners... »»»
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