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President and Nancy Reagan at Merle Haggard Concert
President Ronald and Mrs. Nancy Reagan enjoy the music of Merle Haggard during a concert at Rancho Sierra Grande. (UPI PHOTO/Larry Rubenstein/FILES)
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Merle Ronald Haggard (born April 6, 1937) is an American country music singer, guitarist, instrumentalist, and songwriter.

Along with Buck Owens, Haggard and his band "The Strangers" helped create the Bakersfield Sound, which is characterized by the unique twang of Fender Telecaster guitars, vocal harmonies, and a rough edge not heard on the more polished Nashville Sound recordings of the same era. By the 1970s, Haggard was aligned with the growing outlaw country movement, and has continued to release successful albums through the 1990s and into the 2000s. His songs display unflinching personal honesty about such universal themes as love, loss, patriotism, regret and redemption.

In 1997, Merle Haggard was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame for his song Okie from Muskogee.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Merle Haggard."