Merle Haggard Dead at 79
Country legend passes on his 79th birthday.
Merle Haggard, country music star and bonafide outlaw, died on Wednesday at the age of 79. It was his birthday. The death was confirmed by Haggard's publicist without any further details. He had recently been treated for pneumonia.
Haggard was famous for being a voice of the working class, producing culturally and historically significant songs such as "Okie from Muskogee" and "If We Make It Through December." His rough and tumble roots weren't only a persona: He had an actual jacket with stays in lockups across central California, including San Quentin, an outlaw history peppered with escapes and robberies. Governor Ronald Reagan would eventually expunge his record. Them California Cowboys stay tight.
Haggard's long and prolific career widely influenced American culture and music. Take it easy, Merle, there aren't anymore hippies around to bother you.