Merle Haggard has died... on his 79th birthday.
Mr. Haggard was probably best known for his controversial hit “Okie From Muskogee,” a flippant broadside, released in 1969, that defended conservative heartland values against the hippie counterculture....Yes, that's how a lot of people my age, including me, first knew him.
He later expressed ambivalence about the song’s message.... “I was dumb as a rock when I wrote ‘Okie From Muskogee,’ ” Mr. Haggard told the Americana music magazine No Depression in 2003. He added, “I sing with a different intention now.”It's been a long time since we thought of Merle that way. Why, it was only 4 days ago that I embedded him — singing "Mama Tried" — on this blog, here.
ADDED: Merle Haggard, on meeting President Obama:
"It's really almost criminal what they do with our President. He's not conceited. He's very humble about being the President of the United States, especially in comparison to some presidents we've had who come across like they don't need anybody's help. I think he knows he's in over his head. Anybody with any sense who takes that job and thinks they can handle it must be an idiot."