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Country singer, yokel, rube, clodhopper and hayseed, Merle Haggard died at the spry age of 79.

Haggard helped create the Bakersfield sound, which is characterized by the unique twang of Fender Telecaster.  Yes: the twang.  The musical equivalent to sneakers screaching on a basketball court.

By the 1970s, Haggard was aligned with the growing “outlaw country” movement… I am guessing that to be an outlaw in the country world you need to be able to read above a third grade level and practice proper dental hygiene.

In 1994, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, also known as the worst place in the world.  I can just picture it now… The screen door rusting off it’s filthy hinges, mangy dogs staggering about, looking vainly for a place to die.

Merel Haggard

He was also very innovative in the filed of hair-helmets.

Haggard’s parents, Flossie Mae Harp and James Francis Haggard, moved to California from their home in Checotah, Oklahoma during the Great Depression after their barn burned in 1934.  If you are like me, the main thing that you took away was that Merel’s mother was named “Flossie Mae Harp.”  If ever there was a horse name, it’s Flossie Mae Harp.

No, seriously.  “And they’re coming down the stretch, it’s Boozy Boy, followed by Foul Brown Wind and then there’s My Anaconda Don’t Want None followed by College Kegger with North Eastern Time Zone and bringing up the rear is Flossie Mae Harp!”

Married and plagued by financial issues, he was arrested after he tried to rob a roadhouse.  He was sent to jail, tried to escape and ended up in a San Quentin.  While in prison, Haggard discovered that his wife was expecting a child from another man. He was fired from a series of prison jobs and eventually started to run a gambling and brewing racket with his cellmate.

It is no wonder he went into country music.  He’s a fucking walking-talking goddamned country song himself.

He had a bunch of hits… but they were all country songs, so there’s no need to discuss them further.

This hit goes to: Dawn!  She works her way up to a tie with Harmony in 5th place!

Happy pooling,

SPMI

Current Standings:

Jami: 170 – (Scott Weiland  – 60, Pat Harrington, Jr. – 20, Umberto Eco – 20, Rob Ford – 60, Erik Bauersfeld – 10)

Lee Kwang-Soo (Giraffe): 100 – (Daniel Fleetwood – 70, Abe Vigoda – 10, Nancy Fucking Reagan! – 10!, George Martin – 10)

Occupy the Casket: 100 – (Natalie Cole – 40, Vanity – 50, Boutros Boutros-Ghali – 10)

The Girl on Fire: 70 (Wayne Rogers – 20, René Angélil – 30, George Gaynes – 10, James Noble – 10)

Joanne: 70 (Joey Feek – 60, Joe Garagiola – 10)

Age of Aquarius: 60 (William Guest – 30, Merle Haggard – 30)

Harmony: 60 (Harper Lee – 20, George Kennedy – 10, Frank Sinatra, Jr. – 30)

Mortician’s Daughter: 50 – (Justice Antonin Scalia – 30, Bud Collins)

Tailgating w/ Jesus: 50 (Dolph Schayes – 20, Meadowlark Lemon – 20, Monte Irvin – 10)

Mostly Mike: 20 (Marvin Minsky – 20)

Gianna: 20 (Robert Stigwood – 20)

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