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There is no more popularly satisfying tale than the fall of the self-righteous. Politicians, pundits and preachers, how we gasp in horrified delight as their secrets are revealed, their drug addictions and gambling issues, their sordid secret sexual lives. So it is not surprising that "The Trials of Ted Haggard," which premieres tonight on HBO, has been publicized within an inch of its life.
May 19, 1985 | MILT PETTY
"KERN RIVER." Merle Haggard. Epic. Haggard's umpteenth album for his third major label finds the Lonesome Stranger in an upbeat mood. "Big Butter and Egg Man" is the up-tempo track that sets the tone here. It and several cuts like it are long on swinging horn arrangements and Tommy Duncan vocal chops that separate Haggard's Western music from everybody else's country. He shows his downbeat flip side in the title track, a memorable tale of a drowned lover that he sings with trademark conviction.
Merle Haggard made his third visit this year to Orange County on Saturday at the Coach House. With almost any other artist, you'd worry about overkill. But so deep and rich is Hag's songbook that he could play once a week for a year without repeating himself. Of course, he did repeat himself in several songs that are fixtures on his latter-day set list.
November 8, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Citing a lack of time, Focus on the Family founder James C. Dobson withdrew from the team overseeing counseling for the Rev. Ted Haggard, the evangelical pastor embroiled in a scandal involving a male prostitute and illegal drugs. "Emotionally and spiritually, I wanted to be of help -- but the reality is, I don't have the time to devote to such a critical responsibility," Dobson said in Colorado Springs.
January 11, 2006 | Richard Cromelin
David Bowie, Cream, Merle Haggard, Robert Johnson, Jessye Norman, Richard Pryor and the Weavers have been named recipients of the Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors "lifelong artistic contributions to the recording medium," the academy said Tuesday.
March 5, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
The Colorado Springs mega-church founded by the Rev. Ted Haggard, who was fired over drug and sex allegations, has laid off 44 people amid falling income following the scandal. The cuts, announced during services, amount to about 12% of the church's workforce, associate pastor Rob Brendle said. He estimated that the income of the 14,000-member church had fallen 10%, forcing layoffs including pastoral staff, support staff and nursery workers.
July 4, 2001 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Roy Nichols, an influential guitar player who for 22 years was a mainstay of country star Merle Haggard's band, died Tuesday at Mercy Hospital in Bakersfield. He was 68. Nichols was admitted to the hospital on June 30 with a kidney inflammation and bacterial infection and was in intensive care until he died early Tuesday of a heart attack. Haggard credits Nichols with jump-starting his own career and playing a key role in developing the distinctive country sound of his band, the Strangers.
August 7, 1986 | ROBERT HILBURN
Merle Haggard's business manager says the country music singer canceled a concert Monday at the Clark County Fair in Vancouver, Wash., because of illness--not because of an argument with his wife, as reported by fair officials. "Merle came down with dysentery after the afternoon show (at the fair) and simply couldn't go back on stage for the evening one," Dennis Bottomley said Wednesday. "I don't know anything about an argument with his wife.
July 24, 2003 | Randy Lewis
Merle Haggard's record label is rush-releasing his new single, "That's the News," a song critical of the media's handling of the continuing U.S. military involvement in Iraq. The 66-year-old country singer and songwriter's music has been heard infrequently in recent years on youth-oriented commercial country stations, but the new song has generated significant interest following a piece that aired Monday on Fox News Channel in response to a July 15 story in The Times.
October 28, 2006 | Randy Lewis, Times Staff Writer
It was to be a trip to country music Valhalla, the summit meeting in August of the two men widely considered the genre's greatest living singers: George Jones and Merle Haggard.
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