New Merle Haggard Biography Being Released This Month

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns)

Just a little over five years after the passing of Merle Haggard, a new biography about the country singer and songwriter is set to be released later this month.

According to Amazon, Marc Eliot’s The Hag: The Life, Times, and Music of Merle Haggard, is claimed to be the definitive biography of the country legend. “Haggard was one of the most important country music musicians who ever lived. His astonishing musical career stretched across the second half of the 20th century. And it’s the first two decades of the next.”

During his music career, Merle Haggard released 63 albums. 38 of the albums made it on the Billboard’s Country Top Ten, and 13 went to #1. The late musician also had 37 #1 hit singles. Unfortunately, on April 6, 2016, the musician passed away from complications caused by pneumonia. He was 79-years-old at the time of his death. 

“With his ample songbook, unique singing voice, and brilliant phrasing that illuminated his uncompromising commitment to individual freedom; cut with the monkey of personal despair on his back and a chip the size of Monument Valley on his shoulder; Merle’s music and his extraordinary charisma helped change the look, the sound, and the fury of American music.”

The new biography tells “without compromise” the life of Merle Haggard. It includes deep secondary research, “sharp” detail, and “ample anecdotal material. The book also has more than 100 new and far-ranging interviews. “The Hag is the definitive account of this unique American original, and will speak to readers of country music and rock biographies alike.”

Meanwhile, The Hag will be available for purchase on Tuesday, January 18th. 

Merle Haggard Spoke About How His Music Impacted Fans 

During a 2012 interview with Atlantic City Weekly, Merle Haggard spoke about the impact his music has on fans around the world. “It’s nice to have some songs that connected with fans, not just back then, but songs fans want to hear now. It’s nice when you have a song that stands up to the test of time. I think I have a few of those.”

Merle Haggard also said that that he’s fortunate enough that he was able to play country music. He stated that country was the style of music he was interested in since coming of age in the 1950s. “So much has to do with where I grew up I grew up in Bakersfield, California, and it was a lot like Texas in a way. We had oil and country music. I always loved country music. I got hooked on guys like Bob Wills, Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell. There was nobody else like those guys.”