Merle Ronald Haggard (April 6, 1937 – April 6, 2016) was an American country music songwriter, 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 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.
On December 5, 2015, Haggard was treated at an undisclosed hospital in California for pneumonia. He made a recovery, but postponed several concerts.
In March 2016, Haggard was once again hospitalized. His concerts for April were cancelled due to his ongoing double pneumonia. On April 6, 2016, his 79th birthday, he died of complications from pneumonia at his home in Palo Cedro, California.
Merle Haggard - Lonesome Fugitive & Sing Me Back Home
Merle Haggard - Mama Tried (Live)