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


For example, in one chapter the author misstates That’s The Way Love Goes as That’s The Way Life Goes.. What the author does very well is introduce information that is not commonly known about Merle. He crafted a narrative centered around the perceptions of some of Merle’s friends like Fuzzy Owens, who was like a father to Merle throughout his professional career. Merle’s expansive career included thirty eight number ones, four Grammys, Country Music Hall of Fame inductee, and in 2010, he was bestowed with a Kennedy Center Honor. He was also the first country artist on the cover of Time Magazine.


Merle had the opportunity to undergo non chemo treatment, and was told it could extend his life. He refused. His second to last album went to number one which firmly established his successful comeback. Is it possible that Merle felt he had given all he had? He had reached the highest honors in country music, and all music generally speaking. With over 54 albums released, I don’t think we can complain about the immense gift he left for us all.

This is a great read, especially for fans like me. The portrait is of a wildly talented man that despite the odds made it on his own terms. The book is also about self-undoing, missed opportunities, and the imperfectness, and frailty of humans. I walked away feeling that Merle wasn’t successful despite his flaws. He actually may have reached the ultimate heights because of


his imperfections. Life is the beautiful struggle for love, and belonging. Merle was a victor over that struggle, even though at times, he didn’t know it, but I think he did in the end..

The Hag will be part of us forever, and nothing, not even death can ever take him away,not ever..

Don’t forget to spread good country music around, and share with the social media links below.

Instagram: @traditionalcountrymusic


Facebook: Traditional Country Music

By: Sana Mello

Editor’s Note: When you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

3 of 3Next
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse