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Merle Haggard

Merle Haggard

29 articles

Audio interviews

Merle Haggard (2015)

Interview by Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages audio, May 2015

The Hag tells all about signing to Capitol Records: producer Ken Nelson; the Bakersfield Sound; Glen Campbell... and having the Rat Pack as fans.

File format: mp3; file size: 17.2mb, interview length: 18' 44" sound quality: ** (phoner)

List of articles in the library

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Merle Haggard: Home-fried Humor and Cowboy Soul

Profile and Interview by Al Aronowitz, Rolling Stone, 10 August 1968

COUNTRY MUSIC is blowing in like a fresh wind from the West. America can't be defined by its pay-toilets and its smog. Merle Haggard never ...

George Jones & Tammy Wynette: The Playroom, Atlanta; Waylon Jennings, Conway Twitty: City Auditorium, Atlanta

Live Review by Gene Guerrero, The Great Speckled Bird, 10 March 1969

THE LAST two weeks have been good ones for country music in Atlanta. George Jones and Tammy Wynette were at the Playroom; Merle Haggard's latest ...

Merle Haggard

Comment by Gene Guerrero, The Great Speckled Bird, 16 March 1970

IF MERLE Haggard wasn't one of the two or three most creative persons in country music, it would be easy to dismiss him as just ...

Merle Haggard: Municipal Auditorium, Atlanta

Live Review by Gene Guerrero, The Great Speckled Bird, 23 March 1970

Walk a Mile... ...

Merle Haggard: The Fightin' Side Of Me (Capitol)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, 17 October 1970

MERLE HAGGARD is a tough ol' boy. While Johnny Cash broods about it, you have the feeling that Haggard might just get it done. ...

Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn: Louisiana Woman – Mississippi Man; Merle Haggard: I Love Dixie Blues...

Review by John Morthland, Creem, November 1973

THE SEARCH for the most commercial mating of country and rock continues unabated, and it's working both ways. In the wake of Kristofferson, the Young ...

Merle Haggard: Serving 190 Proof (MCA)

Review by John Morthland, Rolling Stone, 6 September 1979

REMEMBER 'OKIE from Muskogee' and 'Fightin' Side of Me', the two Merle Haggard anthems that served as right-wing rallying cries during the volatile turn of ...

Merle Haggard: The Country Club, Reseda CA

Live Review by Mark Leviton, BAM, 18 April 1980

MERLE HAGGARD and his ten-piece backing band opened this new club with the kind of set most performers must only dream of. The set relied ...

Merle Haggard: Big City (Epic FE 37593)

Review by Mitchell Cohen, High Fidelity, January 1982

THERE ISN'T much on Big City that's unfamiliar to the contemporary country milieu: yearning to break away from urban life and flee to "the middle ...

Merle Haggard: Chill Factor (Epic)

Review by Amy Linden, Spin, June 1988

NEW TRADITION, old tradition, any old way you choose it. Merle Haggard is a country music category unto himself. Any guy that lists his prison ...

Merle Haggard: Long Gone Train

Interview by Holly Gleason, Spin, September 1988

Merle Haggard's gone from hopping freights and serving time to being country music's strongest and truest voice. He's never looked back. But he's never forgotten ...

Pop Quiz: Q & A with Merle Haggard

Interview by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, 9 April 1995

WITH TWO tribute albums appearing coincidentally at the same time, country music great Merle Haggard may seem to be experiencing a sudden resurgence — not ...

Frontman: Merle Haggard

Interview by Mark Rowland, Musician, September 1995

YOU'VE BEEN the subject of two recent tribute records, Mama's Hungry Eyes and Tulare Dust. What was your reaction to hearing them? ...

Merle Haggard: Down Every Road (Capitol) ****

Review by Mark Kemp, Rolling Stone, 2 May 1996


Merle Haggard: Tramps, New York NY

Live Review by Amy Linden, New York Daily News, 13 May 1996

The bus stops here, at long last, and Merle shows he's still one of our great country men ...

For The Record: The Hag Tells It Like It Is

Interview by Geoffrey Himes, Country Music, November 1999

LAST APRIL Merle Haggard turned 62, well past the age when most men slow down and mellow out. The Hag, however, is busier and ornerier ...

Merle Haggard Flies

Interview by j. poet, Stereotype, November 2000

MERLE HAGGARD IS The Okie From Muskogee, the Untamed Hawk, the Poet of the Working Man. He has a reputation for honestly speaking his mind, ...

Merle Haggard: Workin' Man Blues

Profile and Interview by RJ Smith, Spin, November 2000


Merle Haggard: If I Could Only Fly (Anti-Inc)

Review and Interview by Fred Dellar, MOJO, December 2000

A country music cornerstone tells it how it was. ...

Real Country music may be dead, but its last true cowboy, Merle Haggard, carries on the original sound

Profile and Interview by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 June 2001

COUNTRY MUSIC is over. There are lots of rock singers wearing cowboy hats these days, but genuine country music is all but dead and gone. ...

Branded Man: Merle Haggard Brings The Bakersfield Sounds East With Dylan

Report and Interview by Ted Drozdowski, The Boston Phoenix, 15 April 2005

WHEN BOB DYLAN CALLS, other musicians listen. Even when they're icons and gifted songwriters in their own right. ...

Merle Haggard: Swing Me Back Home

Review by Eric Weisbard, The Village Voice, 2 March 2006

<i>Strangers/Swinging Doors and the Bottle Let Me Down I'm a Lonesome Fugitive/Branded Man Sing Me Back Home/The Legend of Bonnie & Clyde Mama Tried/Pride in ...

Merle Haggard Stands Tall

Interview by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, 29 March 2009

AS LONG AS people speak of country music, the music of Merle Haggard will live. As his career nears the half-century mark, Haggard's imprint is ...

Merle Haggard: I Am What I Am

Review by Rob Hughes, Uncut, May 2010

The return of the Hag... in imperious form ...

Ken Mansfield on Capitol Records and the Beatles

Interview by Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages, 2015

INTERVIEWER'S NOTE: Ken Mansfield is a former Capitol executive and was the U.S. Manager of Apple Records. He was on the rooftop at Savile Row ...

Merle Haggard: Keswick Theatre, Philadelphia

Live Review by Peter Stone Brown,, 5 June 2015

WHEN I HEARD that Merle Haggard was going to play the Keswick Theatre just outside Philadelphia, I knew I had to go. I'm a firm ...

Capitol at 75

Book Excerpt by Barney Hoskyns, 'Capitol 75' (Taschen), 2016

NOTE: Herewith the full "director's cut" version of the historical essay I contributed to the spectacularly lavish Taschen book marking the 75th anniversary of West ...

Merle Haggard: a Rebel To The End

Obituary by Peter Stone Brown, CounterPunch, 8 April 2016

I GUESS IT WAS sometime in early 1969, in some Morningside Heights apartment, when a friend sang a song about a death row prisoner on ...


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