Sign up for newsletter
 

The Hag releases final song

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 – Merle Haggard may have been sick the last few months of his life battling the pneumonia that finally felled him. But he also spent time recording a few songs with "Kern River Blues" slated to be out on Thursday on SiriusXM channel's Willie's Roadhouse.

While sick, The Hag was hospitalized for much of the time, resulting in the cancellation of most of his concerts.

When it was suggested that he not go back on the road and rest at home, he did while also walking across the road to his studio to record a few songs he'd been writing while in the hospital. "Kern River Blues," which is about his memories of leaving Bakersfield in the late '70s, was his final song.

Haggard's family wanted to thank people for their support during his illness and decided to release the song. After debuting on SiriusXM Channel Willie's Roadhouse (which can be heard on SiriusXM channel 59 and through the SiriusXM app on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online at siriusxm.com), the song will be available at the Haggard web site and iTunes. Ten percent of all gross proceeds from the sale of this song will go to homeless charities.

"Kern River Blues" lyrics are:
I'm leavin' town tomorrow
Get my breakfast in the sky
Well, I'm leavin' in the early morning
Eat my breakfast in the sky
Be a donut on a paper
Drink my coffee on the fly

I'm flying out on a jet plane
Gonna leave this town behind
I'm flying out on a jet plane
Gonna leave this town behind
They've done moved the city limits
Out by the county line

Put my head up to the window
Watch the city fade away
Put my head close to the window
Watch Oildale fade away
The blues back in the '30s
Just like the blues today

There used to be a river here
Runnin' deep and wide
Well, they used to have Kern River
Runnin' deep and wide
Then somebody stole the water
Another politician lied

When you closed down all the honky tonks
The city died at night
When you closed down all the honky tonks
The city died at night
When it hurt somebody's feelings
Well, a wrong ain't never right

Well, I'm leaving town forever
Kiss an old boxcar goodbye
Well, I'm leaving town forever
Kiss an old boxcar goodbye
I dug my blues down in the river
But the old Kern River is dry

More news for Merle Haggard

CD reviews for Merle Haggard

Working in Tennessee CD review - Working in Tennessee
Read Merle Haggard's Wikipedia entry. It talks, in the second sentence, of his having helped create the Bakersfield sound, with its "rough edge." Later, it discusses, at some length, his conservative touchstones, in particular Okie From Muskogee. While, in Wikipedia fashion, that may capture the popular perception of the recent Kennedy Center honoree, it doesn't hit at the core of what made him, along with Willie Nelson and George Jones, one of country music's three most »»»
I Am What I Am CD review - I Am What I Am
It seems that the legendary country artists who survive to their later years, often make some of their best music during that time. It certainly was true with Johnny Cash and apparently Merle Haggard is primed to follow suit. The evidence of that is spread all over his new 12-song outing. Haggard has gone introspective, but he has done it in such a way that most of the songs are easy for the listeners to apply to their own experiences. The opener, I've Seen It Go Away, is about losing the »»»
Legendary Performances DVD CD review - Legendary Performances DVD
The Strangers are a talented and extremely flexible band, as Haggard's mood can vary from showing off his rich singing voice on ballads to playing the jazzy guitar hero via Western swing material. Thus, it takes a multi-faceted combo, like The Strangers, to keep up with Haggard's many moods. This disc collects 15 Haggard TV clips, and the man is definitely not lip synching his way through these performances. For instance, viewers can clearly hear The Hag clear his throat right before »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Daniels wears out bows, but music endures – After each of the first few songs Charlie Daniels played, his 'fiddle tech (?)' exchanged his bow. Is this because he was playing particularly hard? Perhaps. Whatever the case, Daniels and his five-piece band clearly appeared to be giving it their all during the act's hour-and-a-half set. As it is the Christmas month, Daniels sang a... »»»
Concert Review: Rawlings easily moves out of the shadow – Every once in awhile David Rawlings moves out of the shadow of musical mate Gillian Welch to launch his own tour. While Welch, for whom Rawlings plays guitar, has the more prominent career, nights like this ably confirm that there is a reason does his own thing as well. Rawlings, who released the very fine "Poor David's Almanack" in... »»»
Subscribe to Country News Digest Country News Digest      Follow Country Standard Time on twitter CST      Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook CST

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Washburn, Fleck create "Echoes" Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn have powerhouse individual talents; each has followed an estimable career path to where they find themselves today: making complex, but spare, records, writing music together and touring with their son Juno. Their new release, "Echoes In The Valley" features mostly songs written by Fleck and Washburn, banjos, Washburn's strong vocals and very little else.... »»»
Hillman bides his time Legends don't come any more legendary than Chris Hillman. The roll call of bands that comprises Hillman's half century in music reads like a wing exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, the Souther Hillman Furay Band, the Desert Rose Band,... »»»
The Cadillac Three creates its "Legacy" William Shakespeare noted a few centuries back that a rose by any other name would be equally aromatic, and that general idea has musical implications as well. The Cadillac Three knows a thing or two about maintaining a sonic identity after a name change;... »»»
From A Room: Volume 2 CD review - From A Room: Volume 2
There is no bigger artist in country music today, perhaps even in American music, than Chris Stapleton. His appeal reaches beyond just the commercial country fans for his gritty bluesy approach. 2015's "Traveller" set a high bar, which was met by this year's release of "From A Room: Volume 1," which won Album of the Year in the 51st CMA Awards.  »»»
Down Home Sessions EP CD review - Down Home Sessions EP

Upon first glance at the track list of Cole Swindell's fourth installment of the "Down Home Sessions" series, one may get the impression that it is a covers EP. It features several chart toppers from other artists, including Luke Bryan's "Roller Coaster" and Thomas Rhett's "Get Me Some Of That." »»»

The Rest of Our Lives CD review - The Rest of Our Lives
The first full album from Tim McGraw and Faith Hill is an inspired effort, even though some of its songwriters may surprise you. The title cut, for instance, features pop ginger Ed Sheeran on its credits, while Meghan Trainor contributed to "Roll the Dice." »»»
Bloodshot Records' 13 Days of Xmas CD review - Bloodshot Records' 13 Days of Xmas
Label holiday albums can sometimes be like office white elephant gift exchanges because there's a little bit of everything on the table. Some stuff you like, while other things may have been better left unwrapped. »»»
Texoma Shore CD review - Texoma Shore
Blake Shelton's 11th studio album finds The Voice advisor in a contented, one might even say homey, frame of mind. The opening track and first single "I'll Name the Dogs" sets the tone. It's a rollicking ode to domesticity that manages to make household chore distribution ("You find the spot and I'll find the money / You be the pretty and I'll be the funny") both romantic and amusing.  »»»
A Storyteller's Memory CD review - A Storyteller's Memory

Remington Ryde made a promise to James King to keep his music alive, and with the release of "A Storyteller's Memory," the group kept its word. The band's first recording with Pinecastle Records is a tribute to the late King that includes some of his most memorable stories and songs. »»»