September 17, 2008 |
Bear Family Records' remarkable new release, "Let Me Be Your Sidetrack: The Influence of Jimmie Rodgers," makes a persuasive argument that Rodgers is one of the most important figures in the history of country music. According to the liner notes for the six-disc boxed set released last week, 102 of the 109 songs Rodgers did in the late 1920s and early 1930s were later recorded by other artists -- a 94% "cover ratio" unmatched by any other country singer-songwriter, including Hank Williams.
July 15, 2003 |
Tulare As arguably the most gifted country music songwriter since Hank Williams, Merle Haggard has given his fans dozens of songs over the last 30 years that they'll never forget; tales of yearning and heartache that chronicle the life of the common man with uncommon character and grace.
February 10, 1991 |
Are great country singers born or made? Merle Haggard, widely regarded as the most influential vocalist in modern country music, stares straight ahead as he ponders the question. Though the bearded singer has been a star in country music for almost 30 years, he remains a notoriously private man whose eyes can be as noncommittal as a poker player's during a high-stakes game. He seems to enjoy keeping those around him in suspense.
April 2, 2006 |
BECAUSE HE STILL WRITES AND SINGS about it, Merle Haggard's past is never entirely behind him, especially in Kern County, where he was born and raised. A few years ago, when a new Amtrak station opened in Bakersfield, some residents asked that it be named for Hag. Letters to the editor immediately bombarded the Bakersfield Californian and made it clear that his youthful indiscretions--and time in San Quentin--had not been forgiven in this self-consciously Christian county.
May 7, 1989 |
According to Police Chief Gary Sturm, most of the robbings and thievings and shootings in this town, as in towns large and small across America, are accountable to the drug trade. Whoa now, chief. Haven't you heard The Song? Anyone over 35 who owns a radio and has an ear for country music has to believe that if there is one drug-free zone anywhere in the land it has to be Muskogee, Okla. Twenty years ago--has it been that long?--Merle Haggard, the songwriter and guitar picker, put Muskogee on the map as a place where true Americans lived and had their red, white and blue values well in hand.
February 1, 2009 |
Back in 1973, the country was in the grip of economic woes. A beleaguered Republican president was overseeing an unpopular war abroad and gradually had lost the support of the American people. The musical response from Merle Haggard at the time was "If We Make It Through December," a sobering song that spent a month at No. 1 on the country chart and became one of the singer-songwriter's signature compositions for its compassionate look at the plight of working people across the land.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 16, 2010 |
Hank Cochran, the esteemed country music songwriter revered for the poetic economy and power of such enduring hits as Patsy Cline's "I Fall to Pieces" and Eddy Arnold's "Make the World Go Away," died Thursday at his home in Hendersonville, Tenn., after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 74. Cochran was joined Wednesday night by musicians Jamey Johnson and Billy Ray Cyrus and fellow songwriter Buddy Cannon, who sang songs with him at his bedside. In a career spanning more than half a century, Cochran wrote or co-wrote hundreds of songs recorded by Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley, Ray Price, George Strait and numerous others.
June 2, 1997
A grizzled and gifted veteran of country music, MERLE HAGGARD, begins a two-night stand at the Crazy Horse Steak House and Saloon in Santa Ana. See WHAT GOES ON.
December 10, 2012 |
Once there was a great tradition in country music of male harmony singing, one that's nearly disappeared in recent decades. The Everly Brothers, the Louvin Brothers and the Monroe Brothers were among the standouts of sibling harmony acts, while Johnnie & Jack and a few others proved conclusively that singers didn't have to be family to sound like they were. That's part of the inspiration behind “Buddy and Jim,” the new collaboration between two of Americana music's most respected singers and songwriters -- and longtime friends-- Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale coming out Tuesday.