“The first thing I remember knowing Was a lonesome whistle blowing”*

Well, now Merle Haggard has died–yesterday, on his 79th birthday. His life was the stuff country songs are made of, including a stretch in San Quentin. He was pardoned by then-California Governor Ronald Reagan after a lengthy appeal process. He’d later say he was shocked by the pardon, as he had no idea it was coming. “They found that I was improperly convicted and had no representation because I was poor and things of that nature.” Thankfully, he went on to great things.


I saw him in concert ten years ago when he was opening for Bob Dylan at the Fox. He was pretty great.


So here’s a Thursday throwback for you–in honor of Merle, my favorite Haggard tune:

I’ll be toasting Merle tonight. How about you?

*Mama Tried by Merle Haggard