Thursday, April 7, 2016

Benztown Releases Merle Haggard Tribute

Justin Case, Director of Programming & Imaging, Benztown created an audio tribute to country music legend, Merle Haggard, who died today on his 79th birthday.

Merle Haggard released his first album in 1965. By the time of his death in 2016, he had released about 70 feature albums, according to the Country Music Hall of Fame, although that number is probably closer to 150 when compilations, collaborations and promotional releases are included.

Here are some of the highlights from his legendary life career.

1937: Haggard is born April 6 in Bakersfield, Calif.

1957: He is arrested for burglary and incarcerated.

1960: Haggard is released from San Quentin State Prison.

1965: Haggard releases his debut album, and his breakout hit “(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers” makes it into the top 10 of Billboard's country singles chart.

1970: The Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music both recognize Haggard with their Entertainer of the Year awards. The same year, both organizations named “Okie From Muskogee” as the single of the year.

1972: Then-California Gov. Ronald Reagan pardons Haggard. The same year, astronaut Charles Duke played one of Haggard’s tapes in space while aboard Apollo 16.

1973: Haggard and The Strangers play for President Richard Nixon at the White House.

1983: The CMA honors Haggard and Willie Nelson as the vocal duo of the year.

1984: “That’s the Way Love Goes” earns Haggard a Grammy for best male country vocal performance.

1994: Haggard is inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

2006: He receives the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

2007: Haggard is elected into the Nashville Songwriters’ Hall of Fame.

2010: Haggard receives the Kennedy Center Honors.

Source: The Country Music Hall of Fame

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