Merle Haggard is incredibly accomplished, boasting a six-decade career as one of the top country musicians of our time. He's a three-time Grammy winner and honorary Country Music Hall of Famer. The 'Mama Tried' singer even has a doctorate from California State University in Bakersfield. But this trophied country star never received one thing most of us often forget about -- a high school diploma.
Merle attended Bakersfield High School for less than two weeks back in the late '50s. Now, six decades later, despite having never passed a class, current Bakersfield principal David Reese and a former classmate of Merle's, Don Hemingway, suggested holding a private ceremony for the singer.
The event aptly took place in an alley outside the Fox Theater in Bakersfield Saturday, April 25th.
"I'm glad the superintendent agreed to do this," said a bemused Don. Later he jokes, "But it's not like Merle needed this diploma to get a job or anything..."
Don was honored to hand his former classmate the graduation gift during the private, informal ceremony.
And while this was an academic keystone for the 'Branded Man', let's just say lately, he's been exploring other types of stones with longtime friend, singer-songwriter Willie Nelson.
The buddies have a new album Django and Jimmie as of June 2nd, that will feature their blazing debut single 'It's All Going to Pot'. Check out a video for the new song below:
Congratulations to Merle!
Now, enjoy the 1968 classic 'Mama Tried'!
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