|Birthname||Merle Ronald Haggard|
|born on||6 April 1937 at 01:30 (= 01:30 AM )|
|Place||Bakersfield, California, 35n22, 119w01|
|Timezone||PST h8w (is standard time)|
|Astrology data||16°10' 12°20 Asc. 19°26'|
American musician, country-western singer and songwriter. Haggard's rough-hewn down-home style reached its peak on the country music charts in the 1960s and 1970s. Once a regular on the local country stations, today it is difficult to find his songs on mainstream country radio stations. Haggard's baritone world-weary voice conveyed songs of heartache, depression, and hardships. His famous song "Okie From Muskogee" in 1969 was an anti-hippie, anti-counterculture song. "Hungry Eyes" in 1969 expressed the social realism of being poor in America. He was second to Conway Twitty in garnering 38 No. 1 country hits.
Haggard was the son of Dust Bowl migrants living in Bakersfield, CA. His father died when Haggard was a nine-year-old boy. While his father had always been proud to be an "Okie" (a poor farmer from Oklahoma), his mother wanted to play down the family's poor roots. At eleven, he owned his first guitar. Where his mother and sister listened to the popular tunes of Bing Crosby and the Andrew Sisters, young Merle preferred to listen to the instrumental guitar style of Lefty Frizzell. He did not do well in school and spent much of his time in and out of reform schools. Aware of his family's financial hardships, Haggard left home in his teens to do migrant farm labour and work in the oil fields. He hitch-hiked and rode on freight trains around the country. In 1957, he ended up in the San Quentin prison for attempted burglary. Paroled in February 1960, Haggard turned his life around by pursuing his love of music and playing for country music clubs in Bakersfield, CA. In 1963, he broke into the country music charts, starting his slow rise to the top of the field.
By 1985, Haggard ran into career difficulties with tax troubles, missed concert dates, and lawsuits. He discovered that he was in debt of $3 million from bad investments and overspending. In the 1990s, Haggard continued to tour the country delivering performances on stage, known to be long on expert musicianship and intense singing but nearly silent on crowd pleasing conversation and banter. He refuses to court the Nashville scene or embrace the Country Music Association but played personal songs about dead-end jobs and going through his male menopause.
Haggard was married to his first wife, Leona Hobbs, who was mother of his four children, while he was doing his time in San Quentin prison. His son Marty was born in 1958 and would later become a country singer and musician with his father. Haggard was involved in domestic fights where his first wife would whip his butt in front of the frightened children. He married his third wife, Leona Williams, a singer and songwriter in 1977 and divorced in 1984. At the age of 48, he married his fourth wife, Debbie, 15 years his junior. Haggard married his fifth wife, Theresa Ann Lane, 33, his companion of the past seven years on 11 September 1993 at his 500-acre ranch in Redding, CA. They produced a daughter, Janessa and a son, Ben.
Haggard maintains his spindly frame by eating a mostly vegetarian diet, keeping his weight the same as it was when he was 21 years old. He smokes infrequently and drinks rarely. In 1975, Haggard developed a serious addiction to gambling. By 1984, he was able to get the gambling demon under control and stop. Haggard's introspective personality has helped him create what critics call "the thinking man's blues." Quiet and thoughtful, he shies away from press interviews and prefers to spend time in isolation with the reputation of being a loner.
Of marriage Haggard remarked, "Easy for people to get bored with each other. Things change and probably will. I don't understand how people stay together for 50 years. I get on my wife's nerves pretty well after four to five years."
Haggard has been an early organizer and supporter of FarmAid, a program to help the American family farmer out of debt program since the 1980s.
In 1969, he broke his back when he was thrown by a horse.
He underwent heart surgery on 4 July 1997 and recuperated completely. On November 3, 2008 a malignant tumour on his lung was removed in Bakersfield, CA.
On December 5, 2015, Haggard was treated at an undisclosed hospital in California for pneumonia, and several concerts had to be postponed. In March 2016, Haggard was once again hospitalized with pneumonia. Concerts for April were cancelled due to his ongoing battle with double pneumonia.
Haggard died from double pneumonia on 6 April 2016, his 79th birthday, at 9:20 AM at his home in Palo Cedro, California.
- associate relationship with Barnes, Max D. (born 24 July 1936). Notes: Music collaborators
- associate relationship with Bush, Johnny (born 17 February 1935)
- associate relationship with Gimble, Johnny (born 30 May 1926). Notes: music partnership
- associate relationship with Nichols, Roy (born 21 October 1932)
- associate relationship with Saucier, Billy Jack (born 21 January 1931). Notes: Music collaborators
- associate relationship with Shafer, Sanger D. (born 24 October 1934)
- friend relationship with Armstrong, Garner Ted (born 9 February 1930)
- Social : Institutionalized - prison, hospital November 1957 (Went to prison for 27 months, burglary)
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- Family : Change in family responsibilities 1958 (Son Marty born)
- Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1963 (First record released)
- Health : Accident (Non-fatal) 1969 (Broke back, thrown from horse)
- Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1969 (Famous song "Okie From Muskogee")
- Financial : Worst Period 1975 (Serious gambling addicrtion)
- Relationship : Marriage 1977 (Third wife Leona Williams)
- Relationship : Divorce dates 1984 (From Leona)
- Other Financial 1984 (Gambling under control)
- Financial : Worst Period 1985 (Past taxes, lawsuits, missed concerts)
- Health : Medical procedure 3 November 2008 (Malignant tumor removed from lung)
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- Death by Disease 6 April 2016 at 09:20 AM in Palo Cedro (Double pneumonia, aged 79 )
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Contemporary American Horoscopes
- Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Cancer
- Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Accident/Injury (Broke back, thrown from horse)
- Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Surgery (Heart)
- Diagnoses : Psychological : Abuse Alcohol (Rehab)
- Diagnoses : Psychological : Abuse Drugs (Rehab)
- Family : Relationship : Mate - Age difference more than 15 yrs (Fifth wife 23 years younger)
- Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Five)
- Family : Relationship : Stress - Domestic violence (Physical abuse, first marriage)
- Family : Parenting : Kids more than 3 (Six)
- Lifestyle : Financial : Rags to riches
- Passions : Criminal Perpetrator : Prison sentence (27 months in young adulthood, burglary)
- Passions : Criminal Perpetrator : Social crime/ delinquent (Renegade, various crimes)
- Vocation : Entertain/Music : Folk Music
- Vocation : Entertain/Music : Instrumentalist (Guitar)
- Vocation : Entertain/Music : Song writer
- Vocation : Entertain/Music : Vocalist/ Pop, Rock, etc.
- Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession
- Notable : Book Collection : American Book