Merle Ronald Haggard (born April 6, 1937) is an American country music song writer, singer, guitarist, fiddler and instrumentalist. Along with Buck Owens, Haggard and his band The Strangers helped create the Bakersfield sound, which is characterized by the unique twang of Fender Telecaster and the unique mix with the traditional country steel guitar sound, new vocal harmony styles in which the words are minimal, and a rough edge not heard on the more polished Nashville Sound recordings of the same era. By the 1970s, Haggard was aligned with the growing outlaw country movement, and has continued to release successful albums through the 1990s and into the 2000s. In 1997, Merle Haggard was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. Merle Haggard was born in Oildale, California, in 1937. His parents, James Francis and Flossie Mae (ne Harp) Haggard, moved from Oklahoma to California during the Great Depression.
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