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This one's on Merle, and so are the next 5,095

FORT WORTH, Texas -- When country singer Merle Haggard tells the bartender to set 'em up, he's serious. He picked up a $12,737.50 tab for 5,095 drinks.

Haggard strolled into Billy Bob's Texas, tipped his hat, raised his glass and picked up the check for a record-breaking round of more than 5,000 drinks.

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James Wills, a Haggard spokesman, said Haggard's purchase of 5,095 'C.C. and water back' -- Canadian Club whiskey with a water chaser - topped the current Guinness Book of World Records listing for 'the biggest round of drinks ever bought by an individual.'

'C.C. Waterback' also is the title of Haggard's latest record -- a bacchanalian tale about a faithless woman -- which he sings with George Jones.

Wills said 40 gallons of Canadian Club were used at a total cost of $12,737.50.

Merle said he bought the drinks to celebrate the success of his 28th hit song.

'Merle's entry for buying the largest round of drinks will be submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records for inclusion in its 1984 edition,' Wills said.

The present record is for 1,501 drinks set in July 1982 by Paul Deer in Atlanta.

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