Two country singers have been very special to me for most of my life. I discovered George Jones when I was about 13 years old and Merle Haggard came along three or four years later. Those two singers have been constants in my life for more than 40 years now. These are men whose lifestyles are accurately reflected in their music: heavy drinking, heavy smoking, drugs, multiple marriages, run-ins with the law, etc. You name it, and they probably did it. And amazingly both mellowed soon enough to have now reached their early seventies.
They are as surprised about that as I am, I suspect.
But now comes news that doctors discovered a tumor in Merle's right lung sometime in May and that he refused to be treated for it. It seems that his family finally convinced him to allow doctors to remove the tumor and that he is recovering at home. God knows what that really means at this point.
According to the Dallas Observer,
A recent biopsy revealed that Haggard had non-small cell lung cancer (a form of the disease that has a much better cure rate), so surgery to remove the upper lobe of his right lung became mandatory. According to the surgeon, Haggard woke from the operation, yodeled and smiled. And his post-operative progress was so rapid that he was discharged on Saturday.Merle is one of the great ones and I want to have him around for a long, long time. He still sounds great and I'm looking forward to some new Merle Haggard music - lots of it.
That’s good news for all involved as Haggard is still one of the preeminent country singer-songwriters in music--country or otherwise.
Merle singing one of the best country music songs ever written - written, of course, by him (along with his first wife, Bonnie Owens)