Best wishes to Merle Haggard, born April 7, 1937, in Bakersfield, California.
Archive for the ‘Merle Haggard’ Category
Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard brought the house down at the 56th GRAMMY Awards on Sunday night (Jan. 26), and it’s looking like the trio of country music legends will carry that momentum back to the recording studio.
Before they performed “Highwayman,” “Okie From Muskogee” and “Mamma’s Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” — the latter inspired the likes of Jay Z, Beyonce and Yoko Ono to stand and sway — the icons told Billboard a collaborative album is in the works.
We’re working on one now, yeah,” Nelson said, adding that they’ll release it “as soon as we get it together.”
While they do have shared histories, the three have never collaborated on the same record, as far as we can tell. Nelson is the common thread, having worked with Kristofferson in The Highwaymen and with Haggard on 1983′s chart-topping “Pancho & Lefty.” There have been plenty of other projects over the years, but doesn’t appear Kristofferson and Haggard have ever joined forces.
Meanwhile, asked about a new law in Colorado allowing the sale of recreational marijuana, the trio’s resident pot booster said there’s a whiff of inevitability in the air. “It’s just a matter of time till the whole country will wake up and realize that this is where we’re going and get ready for it,” Nelson said.
by: Patrick Doyle
“One of the best parts of my life has been the that the guys who are my real heroes are my closest friends,” Kris Kristofferson told the AP before the Grammys. Kristofferson joined his buddies Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard and young(er) chart-topper Blake Shelton onstage for a medley including “Highwayman,” the signature song from the Highwaymen (the supergroup featuring Nelson, Kristofferson, the late Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash), Nelson’s “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” and Haggard’s 1969 hit “Okie from Muskogee.”
“Willie is the closest friend I have,” said Kristofferson, who also received a Grammy lifetime achievement award in a ceremony alongside the Beatles yesterday. “And Merle, the first time I met him in Nashville, people told me to stay away from him because I had a beard and the hair. I was supposed to be one of them long-haired hippies, and we were friends from the moment we met.”
And while Shelton may have seemed like a bit of a wildcard in the mix with the aforementioned country legends, Haggard was happy to have him: “He’s the big dog right now,” he said.
Kristofferson, Haggard and Nelson have all been close since meeting in Nashville in the Sixties before all hitting major stardom. Nelson and Haggard have collaborated on hits including 1983′s “Pancho & Lefty” and traveled the world with Last of the Breed tour in 2007; Kristofferson and Haggard have played shows in recent years.
by: Chris Talbott
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kris Kristofferson is being given a lifetime achievement award during the Grammy Awards celebration, but he doesn’t think that will be the highlight of the weekend.
Kristofferson will be joined by Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Blake Shelton for a performance during Sunday’s Grammy Awards telecast, and any excuse the 77-year-old singer-songwriter and actor can find to get together with his lifelong friends is a good one.
“It’s so much of a pleasure to be with these guys,” Kristofferson said Friday afternoon following Grammy rehearsals at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. “One of the best parts of my life has been the guys who are my real heroes are my closest friends. Willie is the closest friend I have. And Merle, the first time I met him in Nashville, people told me to stay away from him because I had a beard and the hair. I was supposed to be one of them long-haired hippies, and we were friends from the moment that we met.”
While Haggard says the recognition is “overdue,” Kristofferson admits to being a little embarrassed about his award. He’ll be saluted Saturday at a special gathering that will include Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr of the Beatles. Kristofferson humbly wonders why he’s being honored at the same time.
“Can you believe that?” he asked. “Listen, I was in the Army when they were big stars. I had five years of janitor work and pick-and-shovel jobs before I’d ever get to be a singer and a songwriter. … The Beatles and Bob Dylan are the ones who are the superheroes that changed music in my lifetime. Remember what pop music was like before them?”
Kristofferson’s peers think he had a similar impact on country music, one that continues to reverberate as the genre becomes more cosmopolitan.
“Well, he upgraded it,” Haggard said. “He made it a little more sophisticated. He took it to New York.”
As for Shelton, who bolted back to a taping of “The Voice” after rehearsals, Haggard thinks he fits right in with the group: “He’s the big dog right now.”
“He’s the Only Man Wilder Than Me”
by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard
He’s the only man wilder than me
He’s an outlaw; he’s crazy, never been lazy
Busy on a life-long spree
He’s the only man wilder than me.
I’ve never robbed trains and I never did time
I’m the man who’s last to agree
Some call him a sinner, I call him a winner
And he’s the only man wilder than me.
If he ever really cared he’d apologize,
Indifference has kept his mind free.
He knows yesterday’s dead, and tomorrow is blind,
He’s the only man wilder than me.
Written by Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson
November 26, 2013
by: Craig Shelburne
Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson and Blake Shelton will share the stage at the upcoming Grammy Awards to pay homage to their roots in Oklahoma and Texas.
This will be Haggard’s first-ever performance on the show, according to the Recording Academy. The Grammy Awards will air live on CBS on Jan. 26.
Producer Ken Ehrlich is keeping the details of the segment under wraps, but he did tell CMT.com that bringing the four stars together was “just too good to pass up.”
Ehrlich said he wanted the Grammys to get involved in relief efforts after Oklahoma and Texas were ravaged by tornadoes in May. The idea to bring Nelson on board occurred when Ehrlich saw him play at the Hollywood Bowl in August.
Around the same time, Kristofferson had been chosen to receive the Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be presented in a private ceremony the night before the Grammy Awards. In addition, Kristofferson’s 1970 album, simply titled Kristofferson, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame this year.
“I started to think about what we could do to honor them as the artists that they are and what they’ve accomplished over their lives. And at the same time, not necessarily forget about this Oklahoma/Texas idea,” Ehrlich said.
“Musically, this will honor Willie and Kris’ music, it will honor probably Merle’s most famous song and then it’s going to end with the four of them together. I won’t say it’s not predictable, but it will be classic,” he says.
Asked why Shelton fits the lineup, Ehrlich said, “He understands the heritage of it. I think there are country artists that infuse that into what they do, and there are probably some that don’t. But Blake is one of those guys that really does. That was why we picked him.”
Haggard won a 1984 Grammy for “That’s the Way Love Goes” in the category of best male country vocal performance. He shared a 1998 Grammy win for the country collaboration, “Same Old Train,” a project featuring an all-star cast that included Alison Krauss, Dwight Yoakam, Earl Scruggs, Emmylou Harris and Randy Travis, among
Kristofferson’s Grammy wins include the 1971 trophy for best country song (“Help Me Make It Through the Night”), as well as his duets with Rita Coolidge (“From the Bottle to the Bottom” and “Lover Please”).
Nelson has won seven Grammys, ranging from 1975′s “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” to 2007′s “Lost Highway,” a duet with Ray Price.
Shelton is nominated for Grammys twice this year, for best country solo performance (“Mine Would Be You”) and best country album (Based on a True Story).
In 2007 that Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Ray Price recorded their Last of the Breed album, of western swing, country classics and some of the best country music ever written — most of it by them. The artists took their show on the road and toured in support of the album in March of that year.
There were no 14-year-olds on that tour, but those guys toured like they were teenagers promoting their first album, blazing a trail across the country performing 15-shows in 17 days. I got to see their show a couple times here in Colorado, and I was blown away. These talented musicans were at the top of their game and were having so much fun performing together. And the music! They were joined by friend and fellow musical genius Freddy Powers, and sang their award-winning hits to sold-out halls everwhere. We all left those shows knowing we’d just experienced something very special.
The Last of the Breed album was released before the tour, a double-album, and a DVD quickly followed. Now, on March 3, 2009, Image Entertainment will release a live cd, recorded from their concerts. This is good news, because it is going to get wider distribution, and will also be available, for the first time, through i-tunes for download.
They are the Last of the Breed — the elder statesmen of classic country music who have inspired artists for decades. No one else sings country music with the passion and purity of Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Ray Price. In March 2007, these living legends and Country Music Hall of Famers united on stage for a once-in-a-lifetime concert event that was captured for television and recorded to give fans the ultimate concert experience. Backed by the GRAMMY Award-winning Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel and Ray Price’s Cherokee Cowboys, LIVE FROM THE LAST OF THE BREED TOUR presents Willie’s, Merle’s and Ray’s greatest hits that they performed on this magical evening.
- Miles and Miles of Texas (w/Asleep at the Wheel
- Make the World Go Away (Ray Price)
- For the Good Times (Ray Price)
- Take Me Back to Tulsa (Merle Haggard)
- Silver Wings (Merle Haggard)
- That’s the Way Love Goes (Merle Haggard)
- Okie From Miskogee (Merle Haggard)
- Pancho and Lefty (Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard)
- Always on My Mind (Willie Nelson)
- Mama Tried (Merle Haggard)
- Ramblin’ Fever (Merle Haggard)
- I Gotta Have My Baby Back (Willie Nelson, Ray Price, Merle Haggard)
- Night Life (Ray Price)
- Sing Me Back Home (Merle Haggard)
- Crazy (Willie Nelson, Ray Price
- On the Road Again (Willie Nelson)