The Hag: The Life, Times, and Music of Merle Haggard (Book Review)



The Hag: The Life, Times, and Music of Merle Haggard

Can you imagine a world without the music of Merle Haggard? I can’t, and if you really dig deep into his teen life you’ll find that he was one bad decision away from decimating his chances at a career in music forever. It is no secret that Merle, despite coming from a loving home with a doting mother, and Father, had a rebellious streak that was clearly detectable very early on. For one thing, he did not like school or going to church. About the only thing he really did like was listening to music. He loved Jimmy Rodgers, and Lefty Frizzell most of all.

Merle also loved spending time with his Father, which often included fishing, and listening to the Opry. As stated previously, Merle had a rebellious streak early on, but it was exacerbated when his Father quite suddenly died. Merle was just a grade schooler, and knew that somehow, he was personally responsible. An irrational train of logic that dogged his early life, and precipitated the impending trouble with the law. It is from this lens that Marc Elliot’s The Hag starts, and takes us on a meticulous journey of the cause, and effect of Merle Haggard’s inner world.

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