A Belated Post on the Passing of Merle Haggard


Mike Dwyer

Mike Dwyer is a former writer and contributor at Ordinary Times.

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14 Responses

  1. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    This is great. I have very similar memories of listening to country music with my father and then bluegrass on Sunday mornings while he’d make us breakfast. Every Christmas I make a mix CD of Christmas music for friends and more often than not “If We Make it Through December” is on there. There’s something in those songs that I just don’t hear much in Nash Vegas “new country”. It’s hard to imagine a song like “Workin’ Man Blues” coming out of those new guys.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


      There is some amazing country music coming out right now. Thankfully it’s also getting attention in the media, even if not a ton of play on traditional radio. If you’d like some suggestions, let me know.Report

      • Avatar Rufus F. says:

        Sure! Most of my exposure to recent country came while driving around the US in the first part of the year, listening to whatever was on the radio, so I imagine there’s much better stuff out there.Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


          Try Sturgill Simpson’s first album, High Top Mountain

          Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen’s album Hold My Beer

          I’m also a big fan of Jason Isbell and Parker Milsap

          And of course, Chris StapletonReport

          • Avatar Rufus F. says:

            Cool! I will, thanks!Report

          • Avatar Slade the Leveller says:

            I try to spread the Wayne “The Train” Hancock gospel whenever I can. He tours relentlessly and his shows are always a treat. Hancock is a real throwback to Bob Wills style western swing.

            Also good is Whitey Morgan and the 78s. Outlaw country at its finest. This guy can sing about drinking like no other, and he pays proper homage to his predecessors. Here’s a sample.


  2. Avatar veronica d says:

    Rest in peace, Mr Haggard.Report

  3. Avatar Road Scholar says:

    Sorta weird coincidence: We’re in Shafter, CA, this morning picking up a load and to get here we traveled on… Merle Haggard Ave.

    Can’t say I’m much of a fan of country music in general, but Merle and his ilk are at least the real deal. If I’m going to listen to country that’s what I want.Report

  4. Avatar Anne says:

    Thank you for a great post @mike-dwyer Merle’s passing was covered here in Oklahoma extensively, not surprising as he has Oklahoma roots. Bowie, Merle and Prince…..my childhood going awayReport

  5. Avatar El Muneco says:

    Rich Hall did a documentary for the BBC (I think it was the one on California) where he spent quite a bit of time on the origins of the Bakersfield Sound and the struggles of the Dust Bowl refugees that it grew out of. Quite interesting stuff.Report

  6. Avatar Stillwater says:

    H is for Haggard. Just hearing his voice would instantly transport me to a place inside the song. RIP Merle.Report

  7. Avatar Will H. says:

    his hits from that era are among his best.


    He also did an album of Jimmie Rodgers songs back when that sort of thing wasn’t really so cool.
    Great stuff. Worth having.Report

  8. Avatar Joe Sal says:

    Mike, thanks for this one. Sorry I didn’t say it several days ago, but was just not at a PC long enough to. It’s good seeing you back these days.Report